That rocked. Not only was it my first game ever at Fenway, but I got to see Bronson Arroyo pitch his good stuff and I got to hear them play " Dirty Water" after a 2–1 win that was more exciting than it should have been at moments.
At one point in the 6th inning, after a double play helped get Bronson out of the jam he'd created, I turned to R--- to say that it's even more anxiety inducing in person than on TV.
Rewind a bit. Earlier in the Summer, my father-in-law, R---, and I were talking Sawx and he discovered that I'd never seen a game at Fenway. So he said I should find a date that I could come up and he'd score some tickets. Evelin and I compared schedules, consulted Celeste, and the 17th proved to be the weekend that best coincided with her being able to take some time to visit friends and family while the Sox were playing at home.
Adding to the fun: The game that night was against the A's and was certain to have some meaning in terms of wild card and/or division races. Well, with the Sox being just 11⁄2 up on the Hated Yankees (and they won earlier that afternoon) and with the A's threatening against the Angels, well, it was a game that both sides would have liked to have one.
Evelin and I had an uneventful drive up that started earlier than desired: Celeste woke at 4:30 a.m. or so and was ready to be up for the day, so were on the road before 6:00 a.m. Celeste did really well on the trip, only having two fussy spats, and she even took a decent (albeit too short) nap.
After spending some time visiting with Celeste's grandparents and her Uncle G---, Celeste and I took a little nap and it was time to head out to the Fens.
R---'s plan was to park at the Riverside T station and to ride in to Kenmore Square from them. It would have worked perfectly, except there was a Boston College football game starting at about the same time as the Red Sox game, so the T station was wickid crowded. We managed to squeeze on to a two-car trolley and made it to Kenmore with an hour or so to spare, so we grabbed a beer and a bite at the Pizzeria Uno just outside the park before heading in in time for the first pitch.
The game itself was fantastic. Harren had trouble in the 1st, leading to the Sox's first run of the night. Bronson made it though the 3rd — 1–2–3 — retiring the side in order.
There were some heart-stopping moments, and it would have been fantastic if Tek had gotten his second career grand slam when he came up with the bases loaded in the first (instead he struck out to end the inning), but there were some fantastic plays including Cora starting two 4–6–3 double plays and a fantastic diving catch, roll to his feet and throw while falling back by Cora for the force out at first.
Plus, I got to watch Papelbon do his magic; Timlin had a fantastic eight-pitch 9th inning for the save; Youklis made an appearance at the plate in an effort to bluff the A's into not intentionally walking Manny. Oh, and Manny sent one up over the Green Monsta for what proved to be the winning run. Jay Payton got himself booed lustily every time he came to bat, and when Big Papi came up the crowd was chanting "M–P–V."
What a night. After Timlin got the last strike, R--- and I just stood around soaking up the atmosphere. We walked down to the field so I could touch the dugout roof, and R--- told me about when he was in Little League and got to go into the Red Sox dugout to meet Ted Williams and the rest of the team.
Once we finally made it home, I know I fell asleep with a huge grin ... and it was still there when Celeste started crying in the morning ...