Sunday, May 30, 2010

Five Swings: Buck Holds Royals

The Sox faced a "must win" against Zach Greinke and the Royals, and Clay Buchholz nailed down his seventh win before the 578th consecutive Fenway sellout.

1. Fan Friendly. Here's the 'fan's eye view from my seats, as my daughter Julia, home from California had bought tickets to take the old man. Unlike the last time we went together in 2004, there was no profanity, no loudmouthed drunks nearby, and the whole experience (including a win) was much better.

2. Momentum. The saying about "momentum lasting as long as the next day's pitcher" applied in full, as Buchholz made pitches when he had to, and the bullpen and timely defense kept the Royals off the board. From our seats, judging balls and strikes was impossible, but the strike zone seemed small. Okay, so it wasn't a perfect game like Roy Halladay's today, but when was the last time you were at a 1-0 game at Fenway? I expected you wouldn't remember either.

3. First Timer. The family seated behind us brought their son, who seemed to be about nine years old, and it was exciting to see him and think back almost fifty years to my first walk up the ramp to see the green grass and the entire experience. Way to go, young man, enjoying the game and great seats.

4. Dusted. Dustin Pedroia might struggle at the plate, but he made a pair of game saving plays. With runners on first and second, Adrian Beltre fought off a rocket, and Pedroia made a great turn at second off an imperfect throw to preserve the shutout. In the bottom of the ninth with Jason Kendall on third, Pedroia fielded a rocket to his right, flashing backhand leather to save the game late.

5. Pitching up to Boston. Jonathan Papelbon came on to the usual fanfare, and had to face 4-5-6. He jammed Billy Butler to fly out to left, then fanned Jose Guillen (and his eleven homers), and got a fly out to end it. Papelbon managed to get through the ninth 'clean' and hit 95-96 regularly on the gun.

No comments: