Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Empire Returns

Sox Vs. Yankees - Return of Johnny Pt. 2: Delayed due to rain.

Return of the Empire . . . Johnny 'Judas' Damon tipped his cap in the first inning to salute the overwhelming boos of the crowd. Boos briefly turned into the last cheers Johnny heard during a rather unsuccessful evening. After the game, he announced his biggest supporter (and pumpkin-dropping expert), Michelle Damon, did not make the trip. The Damons apparently decided that while the Missus would have been able to take on the crowd at 'old' Fenway, the added attendance from the revamped EMC and Pavilion areas would have been too much and swiftly ended her quest to protect her husband.

Fan were treated to a back-and-forth match with great pitching and defense being played by both sides. Both second basemen, Cano and Loretta, made nice stabs at line drives finding the hole. With the shift on for Giambi, the Sox stole an out at 1st. With Cora at second pointing to third, and Jeter still unsure if the ball had gotten past Youkilis - Captain Intangibles took a trademarked aggressive rounding of 2nd base, hoping for extra bases. While often times teams have weak hrowers at 1st, Youkilis, a third basemen by trade, has no such problem and fired to the bag after seeing Jeter round the base. Cora snuck in behind Jeter and blocked the bag with both legs. While Jeter beat the throw to the base, he found nothing but leg and Cora slapped the tag down, with Jeter still earching for the base. End of inning.

In a night where the wind was fast becoming a story for conspiring to keep the game a low-scoring affair by knocking down home run after home run (including a probable grand slam by Wily Mo Pena), Papi's blast was the ultimate statement of power. David Ortiz hit a shot into the teeth of the gusting winds to the deepest part of the field, dead center. Jonathan Papelbon settled under the towering fly ball and caught it several feet deep in the bullpen. the homerun put the Sox up 4 with Papelbon ready in the BP.

When newly-shorn Papelbon took the hill in the top of the 9th, the Yankees got their first look at the Rookie of the Month closer. Papelbon sat AROD down by way of the K, and sat down the following two batters without much difficulty. While Damon and teammates took to the showers in the visitor clubhouse, Sox fans celebrated another night of dirty water and the luxury of a shut down closer succeeding against the Yankees.