Sunday, April 16, 2006

Up and Down, Up and Down

( Yes, I know, I'm late and remiss in my posting duties. If you had to hand in a 23 page paper on the military in Jane Austen on Monday morning, you would be remiss too.)

Sigh. This seems to be our destiny as a team now, and as a fanbase, to be a roller coaster. When our pitching is on, we are on. When our pitching is off, we suck the big one.

I love pitching, so I should love this, right? I don't really know. Beating up people with slugging last year wasn't so great, because we had to, due to the suckage of the bullpen. However, we were always sure we could do it, "it" being "bust out with a 9 run game on the fly".

This year- it's very very good that our pitching has improved, because our offense has, at the very least, changed. Not by a huge percentage, we haven't become the Pirates or anything. But watching inning after inning go by on Thursday night, soaked in offensive futility, it the very least, unsettling.

Friday, was what we hoped our new pitching would bring. Score just enough runs to support a fantastic pitching performance by THE CURT. ( Yes, he merits all caps now.) 2-1 games are stressful, but fun.

What was not fun? YESTERDAY'S LINEUP. *Comic Book Guy* WORST. RED SOX LINEUP. EVER. This is what happens when EVERYBODY takes an off-day at once. And poor Wake got the business end of the bull's horns.

Yes, that's not gonna be the longterm lineup. Maybe I'm just overreacting, and it would probably be a good idea to reserve judgement until Coco and Trot are simultaneously back. And I'm much more confident in the starting rotation than I was last year. ( Go ahead, take away my Bronson binky card.) It's great to know that we can break out with those 2-1 games more than we did last year.

However, what happens when Beckett, or Schill have an off-week, or an off-start? *shudders*

Ah well. At the very least, we've learned the season won't be boring.

Bonus Feature: " Random Notes Scrawled on My Score Card from Thursday Night's Trip To Fenway"

*Expert Opinion from The Right Field Boxes: WILY MO IS ONE BIG DUDE.
* "Silly Tek AB Music"- I have no idea what this means. It may just be my aversion to anything Three Doors Down.
* The Vernon Wells Grand Slam- Best example ever of the collective emotional state of a baseball crowd. Matty was going okay, had a few guys on, but seemed to be working. Pitch to Wells-the moment that ball came off the bat, we all knew. You could feel the air around you change.
* Me, One AB After That: "Oh, sure, NOW you get the ground ball. DISPLEASING, MATTHEW!"
*Note to Self: If you ever bring a 7-year old boy relative to ball park, bring other adult. Force other adult to sit next to boy, to absorb fidgeting.
* I don't think I had ever been to a game where Youk started before. Because it's amazing how Zen-like the YOOOOOOUK chant is. Deep and low, like a herd of cows.
*Mark Loretta's AB Music: "Lowrider". Because Mark is one funky white boy.
* Yelled "Dusty" after great catch by Mr. Mohr, and started to sing "Son of A Preacher Man". Got really strange looks from surrounding people.
*The Crowd, despite the 8-1 score by the 7th inning, was really fun, really loose, one of the best I've been in. A bunch of people joined me in singing along with "Dream On" when it played on the Jumbotron, and Sweet Caroline was, as always, fun. The late-game homer by Papi helped too.
* I have to tell you, being in the crowd as we stood en masse, in the ninth inning to cheer on Wily Mo Pena? And the cheer for a walk as if it was a 400 foot homer? Almost made up for everything else. As did the immediate infusion of hope and excitement after Youk's RBI double to bring us within three. Sure, Papi flied out, as the tying run, to end it. But for that brief 2/3 inning, we were golden. It's amazing how a Fenway crowd can come together just like that. Just amazing.