I love Fenway. I'll sit in that park through many bad conditions, especially if we're winning. On Saturday, under a constant drizzle-to-light-rain, I sat in row 47 of the bleachers. I was two rows in front of the Dunkin' Dugout, and I'll tell ya, those aren't bad seats. Sure, you're far from the field, but there are no obstructed views, and the fans out in the bleachers are usually the most passionate fans of them all. We were suprised, my friend and I, when Dice-K was not on the mound. We couldn't figure out why Atchinson was starting. I'll admit, I was worried. But he did a fine job, considering that it was the first start of his career and he only had about 5 minutes of warning before he had to go face the Phillies. Two runs in three innings is good enough for a reliever in my book.
There were a lot of Phillies fans in my section, and for the most part, they were pretty cool. There were a handful that got very drunk and obnoxious, but I'm sure there were just as many drunk, obnoxious Sox fans. The one thing we all agreed on was the fact that the Yankees suck. A Yankee fan in attendance with an apparently good sense of humor decided to stand up and show off his 27 rings shirt, earning him the boos of everyone around him. We were all having a good time until one guy had to take it too far. He walked over to the Yankee fan and smacked his hat off his head, earning him a quick ejection from the park and the boos of the rest of us. I hate it when there's one person that takes it too far. For the record, the jerk WAS a Phillies fan. Please, if you're going to come into another team's park, at least don't be an ass.
So, Sox were down by a run when Daniel Nava stepped to the plate. A few people around us hadn't heard of him, but I had read before the game that he was called up (and I was excited, because I knew his back story, and I love when guys like him get a shot at the majors). We didn't even get a chance to debate the merits of him getting a call-up when he smacked Joe Blanton's first pitch into the bullpen (caught by Manny Delcarmen!) for a grand slam. Fenway was crazed. I love it when that old park gets that level of energy, especially in the rain. We were buzzing again when he came up for his next at-bat with the bases loaded and nobody out AGAIN! What are the odds of that? I know that four people have hit grand slams in their first major league at-bat, and only Kevin Kouzmanoff has hit it on the first pitch, but how many batters have had bases loaded with no one out for their first two major league at bats?
Also, I find in incredibly interesting that Wolverine was one of the other two players to have hit a grand slam in his first at bat, and the reason that Nava got the opportunity to HAVE that at-bat was because Wolverine was on the DL. I don't know, maybe that's not amusing to anyone else, but I think it's a fantastic coincidence. Overall, Nava ended up with two hits (GS and 2B) and four RBI. That's a debut you can be proud of. Welcome to Fenway, Daniel! Also, very cool that his parents JUST made it to the game and recorded the whole thing for him.
Our bullpen did a great job of banding together on a night when we suddenly found ourselves without a starter. As mentioned, Atchinson only gave up the 2 runs, but because he only pitched three innings, he wasn't eligible for the win. Delcarmen came in after Atch, pitched two scoreless innings and got the win. Oki pitched 1 1/3, and Rambo collected 1 2/3rds. Paps, coming back from bereavement leave, pitched the ninth just to get some work. After all, we had an 8-run lead at that point. Great job all around by our pitching.
In other parts of the lineup, Drew had a very nice night with three hits. Six out of nine guys had 2 or more hits. Tek, Youk, and Scutaro had one hit a piece. I mean, what can I really say about this game that hasn't been said already? Great night, and a great way for Nava to introduce himself to the Fenway Faithful, even if it was raining.
4 weeks ago