The rain started falling in Fenway almost immediately after the game went into extra innings.
With each inning, the rain intensified and it bordered on torrential as the game entered the bottom of the 12th inning with the Red Sox at bat. The diehard, drenched Bostonians who stuck around (almost everybody) were rewarded with a walk-off victory over the Phillies when 22-year old Andrew Benintendi smoked the winning hit.
He was very animated after the hit when his teammates mobbed him as they greeted him on the field.
The Red Sox accomplished a walk-off the previous night (by Dustin Pedroia) over these same Phillies, and also in extra innings, so it’s been an exciting couple of days for Sox fans.
I had never been to Fenway Park before and my first visit didn’t disappoint. Fenway Park is rich in history.
Opening in 1912, it is the oldest existing MLB park. In that first year, Fenway hosted the World Series – one of the most exciting World Series in MLB history! Virtually all of the games in the Series were close: four of the games were decided by only one run, another was decided by only two runs, and one game ended in a tie. Two of the games in this Series went into extra innings, including the final and decisive Game 8. This 1912 World Series was the only best-of-seven Series to go to eight games since game 2 was a tie gam, called on account of darkness.
The Green Monster in left field looks daunting on TV and it was exhilarating to see it up close. It is 37 feet high but only 310 feet from home plate.
When Aaron Altherr of the Phillies hit a home run over the Monster to tie the game at 2 all in the 3rd inning, it was quite a site to witness.
David Price was the starting pitcher for Boston.
He is a lefty like me and I had the perfect view of his mechanics from our box seats in short right field.
His form and delivery are flawless and, except for that 2-run home run by Altherr over the Monster and one other run, he deserved to win the game. Then again, Phillies’ rookie pitcher Ben Lively matched Price by only giving up 3 runs in his 7 innings. The Red Sox hitters were getting runners on base, but they just couldn’t drive them in since they stranded 12 runners on base. The Phillies’ hitters were even less effective, leaving 13 runners on base. Both teams did not capitalize on scoring opportunities which caused the tension to build with each passing frame.
The most exciting play of the night, though, occurred when the Phillies’ Maikel Franco hit one off the Monster, and Benintendi fielded it and threw out the Phillies’ Howie Kendrick at home plate with the crowd cheering feverishly including the Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster:
The middle of the eighth inning followed with the traditional playing of the Neil Diamond song “Sweet Caroline”. The crowd seemed to all be singing at the top of their lungs without inhibition. Even I sang along! The rain started soon after that though. I didn’t mind but my Mom decided to don her rain poncho – which happened to be a New York Mets’ poncho. How embarrassing.
Besides the winning hit, Benintendi stroked two other hits. It was inspiring to see a near-rookie receiving the hero treatment at the end of the game and I was very happy for him. While it was almost midnight when we left the stadium, it was definitely a thrilling night and Fenway is now one of my favorite parks.