Wednesday, April 21, 2010

McDonald: (Insert Clever Pun About Wins and Hamburgers)

I want so badly to be able to say that it was one of those nights at Fenway that you never feel like we're going to lose. It definitely wasn't. A lot of us felt, with each wild pitch or each stolen base (which I will get to in a minute) that hope was being sucked out of the ballpark. There was a repeating cry of "There's still time for a rally," but it was rare to hear those words spoken with conviction. Most people were just silently begging to not see another loss. Personally, I was having a pretty good night, so even if I didn't think we were going to win, I wasn't about to leave Fenway.

So it wasn't all perfect. Sure, I got a great metered parking spot right outside Jerry Remy's restaurant, ensuring that I wouldn't be sitting in the maddening traffic coming out of the parking lots. The seats were really good, and there were plenty of nice, friendly people to banter with between innings. There were, unfortunately, an obnoxious group of kids out to celebrate someone's 21st birthday sitting in the middle of the row. They started the game by informing all of us in the row that we would hate them by the end of the night. They were right. Two or three of them got up, on average, every ten minutes for beer runs. By the 7th inning shut-off point, they were so drunk they were stumbling back to their seats. I really wished one, if not all of them, would fall on their faces and just stay down, but no such luck. I guess as far as bad parts of the game went, we could have had far worse.

I knew before the game that Mike Cameron was on the DL and that Josh Reddick was up to replace him. I found out at the game, right around the 8th inning when he came in to pinch hit for Reddick, that McDonald had been called up and Ellsbury had been put on the DL. Sadly, I can't stop calling the poor guy Ronald. I know it's not his name, but to me it is. It was a great way to get the rally going, and that home run felt like a wake-up shot. It was fantastic. It was so fantastic that I was worried about asking him to follow up his clutch hit with another clutch hit in the 9th. I'm glad he delivered, though. I love baseball, but I had been up since 5:30 in the morning and I didn't want to go to extra innings.

With two on and one out in the ninth, I really wanted Adrian Beltre to get that base hit, or sac fly or SOMETHING. I wanted so badly to have a reason to like him, but he failed me again. He failed all of us. I wonder if it gets to him at all... when Mike Lowell was announced as a pinch hitter for Papi, Fenway woke up. Everyone got on their feet. We were all screaming and clapping and going crazy! I adore Mikey. Everyone else in Fenway did, too. When Beltre comes up? He gets the slow, sarcastic clap from some people and the slow, 'I want to have a reason to like you' clap from others. Seeing how much people love Mikey, I do wonder if it makes Beltre's job a little harder.

I'm incredibly superstitious when it comes to baseball games. Every game I've ever been to where I have not gotten a picture of Jason Varitek, we've lost the game. So, of course, through 5 and a half we were losing. Then Varitek wandered out to the bullpen, I got a few pictures of him, and bam. We put 2 runs on the board, and it was all momemntum from there. The awesome combined power of Tek and Mikey won this game because it woke the park up. What a great feeling! Seeing a walk-off win is always a lovely thing, but it's even more lovely when it snaps a losing streak. There was a lot to cheer about last night.

And then, there was Victor. I'll give him the three hits. That was great, and I did enjoy them. But nine stolen bases? In six innings? Christ, Victor.... I know catching the knuckleball is just hard, but THAT is embarassing. I'm embarassed for you and about you in that regard. Really. Pull it together, because Doug Mirabelli is always ready and willing to come out of retirement, dude. I want to like Victor, but yesterday I did not. Granted, half of the blame has to go directly on Wake. As much as I hate to say it, Timmy was terrible yesterday. Shakey Wakey indeed. Two wild pitches, five walks, and six ER in six innings. I don't care how bad Victor's game calling was, those kinds of numbers are just not good enough. Tim now has zero wins in three starts. We know the wins will start to come, but can't we just get the 18 wins out of the way now? Please?

Our two glaring holes in the lineup right now are Ortiz and Drew, both piling up strikeouts at an impressive rate. Maybe Magadan needs to work with his lefties a little more effectively. Just seems odd that the only two REALLY struggling are lefties. If I had the time, I would look up pitching data about the starters that they've faced and find some comforting numbers to make me believe they're going to snap out of it, but I don't have time, so we're just going to pretend I did.

As for Drew... for some reason, he reminded me very much of a cow yesterday. I couldn't get that image out of my head. No offense to Drew or cows. Just thought I'd share.

Another positive (because you don't want to end a post about a good game on a bad note)... ZERO ERRORS for the Sox yesterday! They finally learned how to catch, and I couldn't be prouder! Exciting game, great win. Beckett on the mound tonight. I don't know about all of you, but I feel pretty good about that.

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