Last night I went to the Cell thanks in part to their Buehrle Appreciation Series pricing. I bought an upper deck ticket for $9 then proceeded to mingle with the rich folk down in the lower deck. I have a foolproof plan for doing this that has yet to be thwarted. In the bleachers while watching batting practice I spotted the Happy Youngster. He catches more baseballs in one game than I will catch my entire lifetime. It was nice to put a face to the blogger that I have been reading. After meeting Happy I decided to grab some Connie’s Pizza and try and find some seats so that I could watch the Buehrle ceremony. I found some great seats in section 138 that had six straight with no one in them. I was able to watch the entire ceremony along with the first few innings of the game before the owners of the seats finally showed up to kick me out. I will have more on the ceremony tomorrow. That deserves a post by itself.
The game started off well for the Sox. Contreras faced the minimum in the first. He walked Chone Figgins, but A.J. gunned him down at second. Maybe Jose would have a great night. In the bottom of the first Gordan Beckham (Ozzie pronounces it Bacon) stepped up to the plate and crushed his sixth home run. I have not been to many games since Bacon was called up, but I have seen half of his home runs. Maybe I have the same magic with him that I had with Brian Anderson. In the second inning Carlos hit another solo shot to put the Sox up 2-0. It was just after this blast that the rightful owners of the seats I was in decided to show up. I moved out to the right field area by the foul pole that is usually empty. It was right after my move to those seats that things started going wrong for the Sox.
Jose decided that he would not give up any hits if he did not throw the ball over the plate. He ended up giving up a hit to Bobby Abreu, but that was the only one he gave up in his outing. The bad thing for Jose was the fact that he only pitched 2 2/3 innings, and he walked five batters. Three of those free passes came into score. Two of them on Abreu’s single in the third. Bobby would get another RBI in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Abreu was the man last night for the Angels. He still can play a little I guess.
Normally the star of the game is pretty easy to figure out. Bacon had a good night. He went 2-4 with two RBI’s. His average just keeps climbing and climbing. Scotty Pods also had a good night. He went 2-5 against the Angels. His highlight play of the night would come in the seventh when he bunted the ball into left field for a hit. Off the bat I was thinking about what a terrible bunt it was, but it landed in the space between the outfield and the infield for a double. Scotty ran hard all the way and put himself into scoring position with two outs. Bacon then singled to tie the game. In the ninth the Sox had Nix on second base. I don’t claim to be psychic, but just before he stepped in I noticed he had no triples this season. I scanned the field and thought he might have a chance if he hit it to the Minoso banner in left. He just missed the banner, but hit it right into the gap for a two out double. Pods then scored him with what they said on the radio was a double of his own. I think A.J. got to Scotty before he got to second though. The Sox had a walk off winner allowing me to get home before it got too ridiculously late. To me that is the perfect night. I really thought that we were going to extras. For the $9 ticket that would have been okay too. The real stars of the game though had to be the Sox bullpen. They came in and pitched a great game after Jose left. They combined to give up one run on four hits over the last 6 1/3 innings. Randy Williams even came into the game and got two outs facing one batter over the course of two innings. He was facing Bobby Abreu in the 7th with two outs and Maicer Izturis on first. With two strikes on Abreu, Izturis was picked off first. He must have been going on first movement. So naturally Williams stayed in to start the eighth to try and get Abreu again. He got him to ground out to short. So he pitched 2/3 of an inning facing one batter in two different innings. That has got to be some sort of record. Carrasco, Pena, and Thornton all pitched very well tonight as well. That is good because Bobby Jenks was out with his kidney stones again. They bullpen has been coming around lately. They are the backbone of this team right now. Without them this win would not have been possible.
During the game I realized that it was exactly 24 years ago that Tom Seaver won his 300th game. That was a memory that will forever be etched in my memory. On a night 24 years later we had another #41 pitching well. John Lackey pitched through a couple of mistakes to end up with a pretty good outing. He threw 111 pitches during his eight innings giving up four runs. He struck out six while walking only two. He also only gave up five hits. Unfortunately they were timely, and would result in the game being tied when he left it.
Here are a couple of other pictures from the night:
Bobby Abreu making a running catch on Dye in the 1st
A shot of Jose during his quick outing
Vlad swinging at a ball in the left hand box
A panoramic from my seats in right. This may the the new header of the blog when I get some time.