Boys of summer? Whatever.
So, how are you enjoying the immediate post-solstice days? I personally love it when it everything I own feels like a used facecloth. Makes for great baseball weather. Can you imagine the retractable roof crusade we’d have had this season if Teddy Sarandis still had his nightly forum?
They’ll try again this afternoon to get a game in over at the SS Fenway, a matinee sendoff for the overmatched Phillies, after yesterday’s regularly scheduled game was called due to rain. If you have tickets for Fenway this season, did you know that you have an incredible 1 in 6.5 chance of going home with your rain check necessary for another day? It’s more likely you’ll suffer a rainout than see Alex Cora go deep.
I sat in the bleachers Wednesday night as Jon Lester flummoxed Les Nationales under a blindingly bright sun on the first official evening of summertime. It was the epitome of the so-called, “perfect night for baseball.”
Hope you were there. We’re not likely to enjoy another evening like it until after the All-Star break and at this rate, you’d be right to even doubt that. Rain is in the forecast on and off all this week, with Pedro Martinez and the Mets in town. Pedro is due to go Wednesday night, and you just know those with tickets are praying the skies don’t cause a juggling of the rotation.
They have a 1 in 6.5 chance of being disappointed, of course.
The Sox then head off to Miami to finish off interleague play against the Marlins. Then it’s Tampa and Chicago before taking a few days for the Midsummer Classic, which will be played in Pittsburgh, where there is nothing classic about the game being played these days.
Perhaps we should at least be thankful that the Yankees aren’t in town. As edgy as people are these days, sharing the same graying pigmented skin, that’s an added bout of tension we don’t need in an already frisky crowd. Heck, I asked my wife to pass the salt last night at dinner, and ended up spending an hour apologizing for the barometric pressure.
Yesterday was the fifth rainout of the season at Fenway, the most the Sox have had since 1989. This past weekend was the third out of the last four with significant rain falling on the Commonwealth. If I see one more meteorologist pass it back to the smug anchor with some remark about “finding the sun”, I swear I’m driving down to the studio and barricading all the doors until they can give me some good news.
Conversely, despite the rainouts, it’s been nothing but good news for the local nine lately. The sky may be constantly soaked, but it’s at least back up where it belongs after falling just two weeks back. You might remember the Sox hit rock bottom, getting swept by the Twins in Minnesota, a series highlighted by David Ortiz’s misfortunate blast off a speaker. Since then, they have paid some serious attention to Jobu because they’ve reeled off eight in a row. Either that, or they just get to play the Triple-A level National League. Heck, even Kansas City looks good against the senior circuit. Thanks to interleague play, the Royals are but two games behind the pitiful Pirates, who are soon destined for the worst record in the game.
Even that series in Minnesota doesn’t seem so dreadful anymore, especially now that the Twins have reeled off 12 wins in their last 13 games, just one of three scorching hot teams in an amazing Central Division. The Red Sox are looking for their ninth straight win today with Tim Wakefield on the hill to face the Phillies. Wakefield has allowed just nine earned runs in four starts this month, but has just one win to show for it. It should be two after today.
Not only are the Phillies a mess right now, but hitters are batting just .201 against Wakefield this season at Fenway. In day games, he is 2-1 with a 0.78 ERA. He’s 3-7, 4.74 at night.
What does that split tell you? Heck if I know. But it WILL be a day game today at Fenway, under low-lying, cloudy skies threatening to burst yet again.
But what else is new? It’s summer in New England, and the only Deadhead stickers we’re seeing on Cadillacs are underwater.