My fiancee and I had plans to watch the game in Brookline today, but being us, we ended up running a little late, okay, a lot late, and so it was that we were driving through Kenmore Square about fifteen minutes before the first pitch. A dumb move, but we also got to soak up some of the atmosphere as we passed by, glancing over at the crowd still streaming over the bridge toward the lit-up ballpark under the glaring sun. Along Storrow Drive we'd passed boats with sails unfurled on the Charles--the day was crisp, clear and warm. Yesterday on the pre-game show one of the guys (can't remember who it was) said "this is what is happening in Boston this weekend." And it's true. Kenmore Square was a madhouse, but past PJ Kilroy's on Beacon St. all was quiet. Everyone was at battle stations in front of the TV. A ravishingly beautiful day.
We got to K and Ryan's just in time for the first pitch. Beckett wasn't as sharp as he has been in previous starts, and the Yankees lineup gave Papelbon a run for his money, too, the first time I've seen him look challenged.
However, Beckett got one important retaliation in--an embarrassing K for A-Rod on a called third strike in his first at-bat that sent some of the Fenway faithful leaping to their feet, pumping their fists and screaming.
Oh yeah, sure, "What we have with the Red Sox and Yankees now is manufactured fan nonsense."
Moving on. Papi proved the hero today, jacking a homer around the Pesky Pole to drive in what would be the winning runs as Fenway went apeshit for the second time in 24 hours. Before we knew it Papelbon was blowing a fastball past a swinging Jeter, Bobby Abreu gave it a ride but flied out, and the Sox had prevailed again, 7-5. Not as pretty a game, maybe, but a win is a win and now we've got two out of three. Pretty or not, we've been treated to some baseball of rare quality this weekend.
Daisuke-san on the hill tomorrow. I know where I'll be.