Arriving at Fenway last night was as always exciting. The first of two games against the almighty Tampa Bay. Although somewhere in the midst of World Cup madness they seemed to have lost the ‘almighty’.
Lackey pitched what in numbers was a solid game. As a bystander it felt a bit different. There was never the certainty as there is when…forget it; I have never have felt certainty at Fenway.
Last night the game lasted 3 ½ hours. So what caused this game to have Sox-Yankee duration? Even with Lackey able to pitch seven innings, we still had five new pitchers to come.
Okajima, not really a surprise. He came to the plate determined to bring smiles to Japan after their elimination of the world cup. Or this is at least what I told myself to bring me comfort. In any event, his determination was short-lived, and after 21 pitches, two hits and two runs, he sat down.
Next we had another familiar face in Daniel Bard. Daniel Bard we have watched grow from Pawtucket to the bigs. Sometimes when Bard pitches I forget to watch the actual pitch, instead I just look at the speed. Unfortunately, the men behind me seemed to have missed out on Bard altogether, they briefly asked who he was, and then continued to talk about the Lady GaGa show they were going to in the upcoming week. Almost before the men could utter the name of their favorite Lady GaGa song, we had another pitching change.
Atchison. Atchiwho? The good news about Atchison is he is not nearly as old as he looks(he is 34). The bad news about Atchison is he has been plagued by an elbow injury on and off since 2000. Atchison spent last season playing for the Hanshin Tigers, so perhaps, he too came with the determination to lift spirits throughout Japan. Thirteen pitches and two runs later, Farrell was a welcomed sight.
With the crowd nice and nervous, who else but to grace the plate other than Dustin Richardson. Since 2006 Richardson has climbed up from Lowell to Pawtucket with a 1.69 ERA last season, to Fenway Park. Last night he pitched just enough to get us comfortably back to a familiar song.
The song of Papelbon. With an ERA of 3.82 his song may not be as calming as it used to be to Fenway. But he was able to get the job done.
Our team’s pitching ERA total is now 4.27, only ten teams have a higher one. So how can we sleep through the night in Boston?
It’s simple. Beltre. Beltre is second in the league with his 3.49 batting average. And other bats are getting busy as well. Papi got a 3 run homer last night. Even with the absence of Martinez, Ellsbury, Pedroa, Lowell, Boston isn’t getting quiet.
Let’s not forget the Yankees lost last night. And Tampa Bay isn’t looking so mighty, in fact they are looking a bit catty these days.
Let’s just hope those bats stay busy for DiceK tonight. And let’s hope the game ends before midnight.