Over this past weekend, me and a friend of mine were talking about how low ticket prices were getting on the secondary market for Red Sox games in wake of dropping 8 out of 9 to the As, Orioles, and Royals. This led to a discussion of “how low would they have to be to just go, no matter how bad they are?” Well, it turns out $3 was that price.
Around 3:00 EST yesterday, StubHub was offering Grandstand and Bleacher seats for $2.99 (Of course there were $10 in fees because apparently it costs that much to send someone an email that they print themselves, but whatever). The Sox had just won the last 3 against the Indians and seemed to be getting their act together again, so we figured we might at least get a decent game on the cheap. However, seemingly simultaneously to my friend clicking “Buy” it starts pouring and the radar did not look good for later in the evening:
Based on the radar, I knew the rain would break for a while. But I thought it would start up again around the 2nd or 3rd inning. As I was watching the rain through my window, I began to think about a blog article for this site about a half full Fenway Park in bad weather with a team still looking to prove itself worthy of a 3-hour investment. So the wheels in my head were turning about how they would spin this one to be counted as the 731st “consecutive sellout.” However, things turned the other way last night and I was very surprised to see the turn out at the park. In an unexpected twist of fate, last night was probably one of my most enjoyable Fenway experiences in a long time.
We got to the park at the top of the second inning (because my friends are never on time for anything) to find the Sox already up 2-0 and Lester hadn’t thrown 40 pitches in the Top of the 1st. We made our way to our section 42 bleacher seats and settled in, waiting for the inevitable rain delay. The bleacher seats are either more comfortable than I remember, or it might be that I am used to grandstand seats that are three inches between rows. It also helped that we each had a buffer seat between us so we could stretch out a bit. Around the 4th inning I took a glance at the crowd to see if how full the park was. It really took me off guard to see that the place was pretty full. So much so, that I would believe them calling it a “sellout” when keeping the secondary market tickets in mind. I did not see the posted attendance because I would have had to leave in a neck brace if I kept looking back at the screen, although ESPN says it was 37,334.
The attendance was the first surprise to me while sitting about 530 feet from home plate. The next was the weather. The once daunting Doppler radar produced zero rain fall and the temperature was at a very comfortable level throughout the night. The last thing I expected to see when leaving my house in the rain was a nine-inning game.
Then we come to the game itself. I have been so frustrated with Jon Lester this year. His pitch count after the first two innings is routinely in the 40s or 50s. Even if he doesn’t give up a lot of runs, he still throws a lot of pitches and the game time suffers because of it. But, just two and a half hours later, Lester struck out Alex Liddi to record the Complete Game, 6-1 victory over the Mariners. The game moved quickly and we got to see some great pitching as well as some power from Nava and Shoppach.
So, with a quick game, good weather, decent seats, and a convincing win, the bitter trip I had envisioned turned into probably the second best time I have had at a Red Sox game in the last 10 years. The first was sitting in the bleachers with a drunken Bucky. High comedy right there.