Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Red Sox Game vs. Indians 8/1/17- Ode to Despacito (or 'The Greatest Game I've Ever Witnessed Live')
Oh, I was there. You bet your sweet boots I was there.
Last night, one of the most absolutely unbelievable, competitive and suspenseful games in years happened in Fenway Park. And I was there to witness it, for my first Fenway outing.
First of all, Fenway Park, regardless of my Yankee bias, is one of the coziest, most fun places to watch a ballgame in the country. The food's great, the fans are fun, all of Yawkey Street is one of the craziest baseball environments, and you feel like you've earned something just being there. Our seats were on the right field line, a few rows from the action. We were relatively close to Mookie Betts, and could still see the action at home. Plus, I don't think there's a bad seat in the house at Fenway.
I was excited for the game thanks to the billed matchup between two of the best pitchers in the game- Carlos Carrasco for the Indians, and one of my favorites, Chris Sale for the Sox. I'd become a fan of Sale's thanks to the fact that he basically had my height and build, and was this big tall guy who threw fire. So I was anticipating the pitching duel of the century.
That...didn't exactly happen.
Sale pitched five innings of strikes, and occasionally balls that people got the better of. Edwin Encarnacion absolutely POUNDED a ball of his over the monster, and the heart of the lineup took some balls past the subpar fielding of Eduardo Nunez, giving the Indians a 5-0 lead, early.
Not that Carrasco fared any better. Mitch Moreland took a ball of his out, while Brock Holt and Nunez took some balls past the...somehow equally bad Indians infield, tied it at 5 after two. Carrasco left THEN, instead of staying in for a bit more like Sale. Thanks to the outfield wall, the pitcher's duel had been erroneously interrupted.
For a while, in the middle of the game, there was a lull. Back and forth little hits, a few Cleveland relievers coming in, constant playings of 'Despacito' whenever Christian Vazquez got up. The banality was beginning to set in, even in a packed night at Fenway. It was up to a semi-obscure Indians outfielder to stop this.
Bottom of the fifth, Hanley Ramirez is up for the Sox, and absolutely pounds one to the right field wall. Brandon Guyer and Austin Jackson go for it, and Jackson leaps. The ball plows Jackson and the glove over the wall and into the bullpen. For a minute, there was a confusion over whether or not he caught it, but thanks to a well-placed replay, we saw the shot of Jackson catching the ball, then bowing right over the fence. it was one of the most insane catches I'd ever seen, and the crowd even gave him a standing O for it. See, even the Red Sox can respect you.
After that, there was more competitive hitting, after Edwin's homer to make it 7-5. Mookie Betts had a nice hit that drove in a run, and Eduardo Nunez had a HUGE 3-RBI DOUBLE to make it a 9 to 7 game. Off of Andrew Miller, no less. Even worse, Addison Reed made his first appearance as a Red Sock, and promptly gave up another home run to make it 9-8.
Still, we were going to the top of the ninth, and Ted Nugent's Stranglehold was starting up, so it felt like the game was gonna be over real soon...
The second Kimbrel got up, we were all going 'aw, here we go'. Just watching him throw strikes like fire was a great experience.
Yeah, until Francisco Lindor hit a home run with one of them.
From, there, it didn't look good- Vazquez made a blunder at the backstop, causing a few more runs to come in. Heading to the bottom of the ninth, with Cody Allen on the mound, it looked even worse, even with two quick outs on the board.
And then 'Despacito' came on, and Vazquez got up. I'd become so tired of the song, and I just wanted the game to end, as it had lasted 4 hours and it was beginning to break into the 11:00 hour.
The second Christian Vazquez cracked the ball off the bat, we knew it was gone. The place went absolutely wild, even before the ball made it over the monster. The dancing officially commenced, as Betts threw gatorade at Vazquez, and the entire cavalcade of baseball had been worth it.
As we left, toward the car, myself, my dad, and my uncle were still in awe. Of Fenway, of the game, and of everything. It was that good.