Game 86 – At Fenway Park – July 11
Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
Game 3 of the Series: W ~ 15 – 9
John Smoltz vs. Gil Meche
Since I was at the game this past Monday looking too see John Smoltz’s first win in a Red Sox uniform (and didn’t), I decide I’m going to go to see Saturday’s game virtually at the last minute. And, yes Sport’s Fans, a Red Sox fan can get tickets to Fenway Park at the last minute. Well, I can anyway. I am a huge fan of John Smolz. I want to see him get a win.
I also am a big fan of a couple of Kansas City pitchers: Both Zack Greinke and Gil Meche. No, I’m not a band-wagon Greinke fan; I can spot a pitcher with something special a mile away. But what on earth ever happened to Gil Meche? For a few seasons past, he had something remotely special, especially against the Red Sox. Oh, what these teams do to their pitchers.
Anyhoo, the game starts out as a virtual slug-fest. Gotta love those bats coming alive early and often. My boy Youk, having some recent trouble at the plate nails two, I say two, homers! Varitek, knowing I had my camera, decides to show off and give me a home run treat. I know he did it for
me to show his appreciation of my support for him in the off-season. No, really; I know he did. And, BIG PAPI! I’m loving the comeback, dude! Not to forget, the little man, Pedroia, hits a triple.
So we sail into the top of the fifth with a 9 – 0 lead. One would think, yea(!), Smoltz has this one wrapped up: His first Red Sox win. Wrong! By the seventh inning stretch, I’m ready to throw up. With the
combined efforts of MDC and my boy Masterson (who incidentially gets my free-pass on this one), the KCR have come within two runs of tying this one up!
Well, when all is said and done, the Red Sox get back into the game and pull a win out of the blue. Ya know? Ya gotta’ love these guys but it really
still takes a lotta effort to love them unconditionally.
Glad the All-Star break is here. We could use some regrouping. Let the second half of the season begin. I’m definately psyched for some October-like baseball!
Game 81 (I think) – At the Fens – July 6
Red Sox vs. Oakland A’s
Game 1 of the Series: L ~ 0 – 6
John Smoltz on the hill for the 1st time (going in with an 0 – 1, and one no-decision)
Staging was set for a perfect evening at Fenway. Driving in, saw it was 85-degrees; Smoltz on the mound for his first Fenway appearance. We were coming off the Seattle series on a high note. Nomar’s first return to Fenway since July of 2004. Orlando Cabrera in the house. What more could we ask for?
Well, that is a loaded question. What more could we ask for? How about some offense…how about Lugo actually playing like a major league short stop? How about an outing that resembles something decent from our ‘new’ Hall of Fame pitcher? Should I continue?
We can’t let those A’s get us down. Beckett’s taking over tonight. Tek better be catching him because I’m thinkin’ the last couple of Beckett starts that Tek DIDN’T catch were nothing short of disastrous.
Just of note: Tonight was Nomar’s first visit back to Fenway since July 2004. I was never a big Nomar fan so when reports say everyone welcomed him back, they really don’t mean everyone. I think he shut down worse than manny ever did. I saw him as a Cubbie play the Red Sox so that was my “thanks for your service, Nomar; now you’re the enemy” gig, and that was many years ago.
One upside to last night’s game was that I was able to score a ton of decent pictures of some of our boys of summer. In quest of John Smoltz pictures, I was able to score this Tek shot that, in my less-than-humble-opinion, is close to award-winning. Got a great temporary seat for a ton of on the mound Smoltz shots, some Youk shots at third, but that’s about it, afterall our A-squad was somewhere else other than on the field.
Just wanted to extend a huge congratulations to our boys of summer for making the 2009 All-Star Team.
Wake, as I said earlier: a HUGE apology. I was wrong. I would have never re-signed you. When I’m wrong, I admit it. BUT even a bigger CONGRATULATIONS for making All-Stars for the first time, you old guy!
Joshie: Love ya, babe! Congratulations! So glad you made it again, but you get some rest between starts because we want our All-Star to do his job for us.
Jason Bay: Cool! Good for you. You deserve it.
Dustin: I’d love to see you pick up in the offensive role, but your defense got you there, deservingly.
Paps: Good for you. Congrats. Too bad you’re already deciding where you want to be during contract time, even though it’s a couple years off.
And Youk. Joe Madden is a smart man. I only have one thing to say:
p.s. Yes, I am a poor sport.
Games 69, 70 & 71 – At National’s Park, Washington DC – June 23, 24 & 25 Interleague Play
Red Sox vs. Washington Nationals
Game 1 of the Series: W ~ 11 – 3 – Brad Penny
Game 2 of the Series: W ~ 6 – 4 – Jon Lester
Game 3 of the Series: L ~ 3 – 9 – John Smoltz
O.K.; it’s over with. John Smoltz, now officially has pitched for the Red Sox. It wasn’t at Fenway, and of course, that will be another big deal. But, it’s over with.
His outing ended much better than it started, that’s for sure. He lasted five innings, although they had Bard warming up in the bullpen in the 1, 3 and 5th innings. Smoltz retired the last eight batters he faced. Overall in the 92 pitches he threw, he struck out five, walked one.
It was a painful first inning as the Nationals scored four runs on four hits…and they were hits alright. It wasn’t even so much the hits as it was the anguish
and dispair on the poor guy’s face. I felt terrible. He has so much baseball-passion and it shows. But he does have Tek, and I trust him.
Funny thing about Smoltzie last night: he pitched against a young stud pitcher that was born AFTER John started in the majors. How do you like that?
John Smoltz, of course, is a legend. Having spent his over 20-year career
with the Atlanta Braves. He’s an eight-time All Star; Cy Young Award winner; MVP; holds a Pitcher’s Silver Slugger; he’s the 16th member of the 3,000 StrikeOut Club, just to name a few of his accomplishments. He’s only the second pitcher in baseball history to top 20 wins and 50 saves in one season, second of course to our buddy, Dennis Eckersley. He’s the only one to top 200 career wins AND 150 saves. He throws a fastball, slider, high-80’s split-finger fastball, a curve and a change-up.The guy is a beast. And that’s a good thing!
I’m happy to have Smoltzie on our team. When I was in Philly last weekend I was able to witness some baseball magic in action. Smoltz’s last rehab start was rained out Thursday (or was it Friday) and rescheduled for Saturday. After the Saturday rehab game, he must have drove like mad to Philly because I was on the sidelines when he came out to the field, for what was probably the first time in public in a Red Sox uniform. The boys were doing their stretches and when John came out onto the field, everyone stopped and he took center attention. The youngin’s especially, had a glow as they stopped to shake howdy. It was amazing to watch. And right in front of me, no less.
Hopefully everybody in Boston will have some patience. I know I will. I’m very excited to see what he’s got. Location was a huge problem last night but I know the best is yet to come.
Welcome to the Red Sox, John!
Game 59 – Fenway Park, America’s Most Beloved Baseball Park
Red Sox vs. That NY Team
Game 3 of the Series: W ~ 4 – 3
CC can’t get it done.
Big Papi goes yard – opposite field.
Still can’t stand Johnny Damon.
Our line-up pleases me, big-time.
I get to meet Dustin Pedroia this weekend, though I’d prefer it be Kevin Youk.
Red Sox 8 – Pinstripers – goose egg.