Red Sox 10, Tigers 7

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In honor of the Red Sox being in town, tonight I made the 45 minute drive to Detroit, despite climbing gas prices, and watched the game at Comerica Park. And while I may have missed last night’s streakers and Schilling’s blown save, I think I definitely made the right choice to go tonight. I sat very close to my seats in the second game of last month’s double header against the Twins, but three rows closer.
Although you might not guess it by the final score, the game was a close one. The Red Sox jumped out early on a homer by Varitek that also scored Ramirez, who had reached base on a walk. Until the sixth inning, the Sox were in that rare position of having more runs (2) than hits (1). Other than Varitek’s homer, Detroit’s starter, Nate Robertson, pitched an outstanding game. The Tigers first scored in the fifth with four hits resulting in two runs to tie it up. In the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers went ahead when Magglio Ordonez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Chris Shelton.
At this point in the game, Robertson was pitching a two hitter (including Varitek’s left field blast), but for reasons unbeknownst to nearly all Tiger fans that called up the post-game show, manager Alan Trammell replaced him in the ninth with Fernando Rodney. “Oh man,” said the guy behind me, “Trammell must want another shot at Schilling if he’s bringing in this guy. He’s the worst pitcher in the league.” The scouting report pleased me, and Rodney didn’t disappoint… the Red Sox fans. After Renteria flied out to left, the namesake of my future son, David “Big Papi” Ortiz, came to the plate and jacked a homerun off Rodney (30th of the year) to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
And what an extra inning! Trammell put in another pitcher, Craig Dingman, and, man, did the Sox ding him. In the 2/3 of the inning that he lasted, he was responsible for 2 earned runs off of a pair of singles by Tony “Who died and made you Mark Bellhorn?” Graffanino and Kevin Youkilis, making his ERA for the game 27.00 (and eventually serving him with the loss). But that ERA was nothing compared to the infinite ERA put up by Jamie “The streakers should be strung up by their toes” Walker. Walker faced four batters and gave up an RBI single to Damon, a single to Renteria, a three run homerun to Ortiz, and a double to Manny Ramirez. When Ortiz hit his 31st roundtripper of the season, bringing the score to 8-3, the stadium started emptying faster than a pitcher of pims at Amrys’s birthday weekend. But even if the fans were done, the Sox weren’t. Just to rub salt in the wound, Varitek hit his second dinger of the night of off the new Tigers pitcher, Franklyn Germán, to bring the score to 10-3. Millar mercifully decided to end the half-inning after that by popping up to the catcher.
But wait… as fruitless as it seemed, the Tigers still had their half of the 10th to battle. And after two quick outs, they actually did rally a bit. After two walks and a single, the bases were loaded for Craig Monroe, who proceeded to hit his first career grand slam to bring the score to 10-7. Suddenly the few remaining Tigers fans left in the stadium woke up… just in time to watch Brandon Inge fly out to Adam “Who the heck is this?” Stern to end the game.
What surprised me most, and perhaps it shouldn’t have, were the number of Sox fans at the game — I’d estimate a third of the 32,129 people in attendance. The guy behind me was a little annoyed by this, although he decided that I was respectable a) because of my scorebook and b) because I was a Twins fan and not an Indians fan. According to him, back when Jacobs Field opened and Cleveland’s games were always sold out, Indians fans used to flock to Detroit in troves when their team came to town. As this was back in the mid-90s when the Tigers were even more horrific than they are now, Cleveland fans would out number Detroit fans. Red Sox fans weren’t quite that numerous, but I had many more allies tonight than I did when the Twins were in town.
And speaking of the Twins… they beat the White Sox tonight 9-4 in 16 innings. And the Yankees lost to Tampa Bay, 4-3, in 11 innings. Today seems to be the day for extra inning games with good outcomes.

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One response

  1. It’s been a couple of days and the Twins seemed to have righted their ship for the moment… But I’ve just got to say that I’m not totally comfortable with the idea of having a grandson named Big Papi Rhode.
    I realize that the current family dog, Yoda Fu G Cooper the Rat Bastard, has a name of some distinction and your sister, had she been your brother, would be Zachary Ian Rhode, but I truly believe that there is a line that must not be crossed.
    And Big Papi is somewhere way past that line.