But the Friday series opener against the Dodgers was still a great game.
Lackey pitched well. The Boys played well. Was the fastest game in Dodger Stadium history. And, as it often does in good, close games that the Sox play in… it was a former Red Sox who did the damage.
Granted, I’d rather have Hanley Ramirez do it than Crawford (who helped), A-Gon or Punto (Beckett being a non-factor thus far).
If you have never had the opportunity or the desire, I highly recommend a trip to Dodger Stadium if you can. (Anaheim as well. Just as great a venue, but a little less of the mystique a baseball lifer may get when walking through the gates, my opinion)
The evening started off with a nice career retrospective of Reggie Smith (being a player who played for both teams and of course a Series winner with the Boys in Dodger Blue) who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Dodger fans are fun though… many of them booed Puig (a seemingly moody and distant ROTY candidate, future All-Star and maybe even future MVP candidate) as hard as they booed Big Papi or Pedey but not near as hard as they booed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, the popular chant being “Dodgers Reject”. And the general temperament is fairly cordial… for the most part. The town drunk of our section was quickly ejected from the property when it seemed Dodger Blue as a whole decided he must go (maybe because he told them I had more team spirit than they did). And one of those ragging on him with security for his ejection, was his own Brother! Won’t see that at Fenway. Or at least, you didn’t used to.
A fair amount of Red Sox Nation was on hand, a number of us in our ‘B Strong’ Red Sox caps with silent nods and brotherly pointing. Others just trying to make their way through the sea of Dodger Blue. There was also a good amount of Red Sox ‘Crawford 13’ and ‘Gonzalez 28’ t-shirts in attendance. Happily, my 1975 Yaz jersey was mistaken on several occasions for a Shane Victorino number ‘8’.
Lackey pitched a strong game, obviously the worst marker against him being the 2 run homer for Ramirez. It was a five hit game total, Nolasco being equally strong with the Sox just not seeming able to get off the blocks.
Having been almost exactly a year removed from ‘The Trade’, it would definitely appear both teams benefited from the move. LA’s new owners were able to immediately electrify the fan base while the Sox were able to offload all of the ‘All-Star’ payroll for an off-season reload. Strangely enough, for having made a minimal impact (to this point), Beckett’s 61 jersey is prominently displayed in most of the Pro-Shops (but not for a discount).
On Friday nights the Stadium holds a themed fireworks show post game. This night it was ‘The 1990’s’, so all the pyro was accompanied by ’90’s music… and opening to Metallica is never a bad thing. Only a minimal amount of ragging upon exit, a lot of “Sorry guys” and such. The standard response of “The series ain’t ova’ yet” was enough of a retort to keep smiles… especially given the next two games.. HA!
All in all, an enjoyable experience.