Yesterday, my lifelong friend of 45 years, Marc, joined me at the game. It was my first time ever to a home opener and we sat in my new season holder ticket seats. It was sweet. We got a perfect day, the temps were in the 60s, we started the game off in short sleeves, wished we had brought some suntan lotion, and then later in the day, when the sun sank behind the stadium and covered our seats in shade we pulled on the long sleeves and watched with youthful joy as Daniel Nava cranked a no doubt home run to left over everything. Only Giant Glass could have been happier then the sellout crowd in Fenway.
A couple of thoughts about the game:
1. Mike Napoli, with his uniform unbuttoned at the top, looks as if he will burst forth like the Incredible Hulk. His shot to center looked to us like it might be a home run and were surprised to hear from a friend listening on the radio that the Joe Castiglione thought Adam Jones should have caught it. At the stadium, that was not the feeling.
2. It’s nice to have a third base coach who does not run your guys into outs at the plate. It was the exact right call to hold Pedroia at third after Napoli’s double. With no one out and a potentially close play at the plate, there was no reason to risk the out or Pedroia’s health with a collision at home. If your team can’t score with runners at second and third with no outs then you have some issues. I’ll have to do the research,* but the stats, I would guess, would be close to a 75% chance that in such a situation you will score at least a run.
3. Buchholz got better as the game went along and he never seemed to get into that nauseatingly slow pace he embraced last year.
4. Adam Jones is a scary player. He looks like a monster athlete.
5. Matt Wieters is a very large man.
6. Our bullpen is just so fun to watch. They come in and throw gas, gas and more gas. Mark my words though, Andrew Bailey should be the closer.
Winning though solves most everything.
* Some quick research shows the odds of scoring with runners on second and third, no outs, is about 85%.