Posts Tagged ‘Wrigley Field’

It was the first time we played the Cubs at all since 2005, when we visited Wrigley Field for a three game set.  It was the first time we played the Cubs at home since 1918, when we won the last World Series we’d win for another eighty-six years.  We broke our course in 2004, but the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a hundred years.  And they won’t anytime soon if they keep playing like they played last night.  It was a victory, all right.  Very powerful.  Very one-sided.  It was a blast.  So I’m going to talk about it basically as a list.  A list of scoring play after scoring play after scoring play.  Because how else could you possibly discuss a slugfest like this? It was the epitome of the definition of the word “onslaught.” So we’re going to go inning by run-packed inning.  Wow.  If I were a Cubs fan, I definitely wouldn’t want to relive this.  But I’m not, so let’s dive right in.

We scored a season-high fifteen runs on a season-high nineteen hits, a season-high six of them doubles, and batted in a season-high thirteen runs.

Ellsbury led off the first with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball.  Pedroia walked.  Ellsbury stole third and scored on a a throwing error.  Pedroia moved to second.  Gonzalez singled him in.

We went down in order in the second.

Pedroia walked to lead off the third.  Gonzalez singled.  Pedroia came home on a sac fly by Youk.  Papi smacked a double off the Monster.  Gonzalez came around to score but was thrown out at the plate by a mile; Papi advanced to third and scored on a single by Lowrie.

In the fourth, Salty walked, Pedroia doubled, and Gonzalez singled both of them home.  Youk sent himself and Gonzalez home on a ball he crushed out of the park.  He hit it over the Monster.  Not at it.  Not into it.  Over it.  Fastball at the belt and he simply crushed it.

Salty led off the fifth with a solo shot.  He crushed this one too.  It didn’t make it out of the park though; it hit the Volvo sign over the Monster and bounced into the seats.  And guess who caught it.  Crane Kenney, the president of the Chicago Cubs.  He got rid of the ball, obviously, but it was hilarious.  Then Ellsbury doubled, Pedroia singled, and Ellsbury scored when Gonzalez grounded into a double play.

We went down in order in the sixth.

We put up one over the minimum in the seventh.

In the eighth, Papi doubled.  Cameron walked, Papi scored on a single by Crawford.  Salty walked.  Cameron and Crawford both scored on a single by Ellsbury.  Salty scored on a single by Gonzalez.

And that, my friends, was the end of our scoring.  It was a total barrage.  It was an onslaught of offensive production that the Cubs could do nothing to stop.  There were only three innings during which we did not score, and it took us only two frames to score nine of our runs (we scored four in the fourth and five in the eighth).  It was awesome.  We were totally relentless and we epically dominated.

It was one of the few nights we’ve had recently where the pressure was completely off the pitcher.  Which is good, because Lester didn’t exactly perform at his absolute best.  He pitched six innings, gave up five runs on a career-high twelve hits, walked two, and struck out five.  He still picked up the win, though.  That’s been the theme of his recent starts; over his last three starts, he’s 2-0 with a 7.27 ERA.  He threw plenty of pitches within the zone; his cut fastball had great movement on it, and his sinker, changeup, and curveball were all effective.  He threw 104 pitches, 73 for strikes, so about seventy percent of his pitches were strikes.  That’s a really high percentage.  The problem wasn’t that he was walking people.  The problem was that he was giving up hits.  Fortunately, he was able to keep his run total somewhat reasonable.  Well, that and even if the Cubs scored nine more runs we still would have won.  Atchison came on after that and fired three scoreless innings.

But let’s go back to the offense.  Only two members of the starting lineup did not post multi-hit games: Crawford and Cameron.  Crawford singled, so Cameron was the only member of the starting nine without a hit.  Let’s go down the line, shall we? Ellsbury went three for six with a double, two runs, two RBIs, and a steal.  Pedroia went two for four with a double, two walks, three runs, and a steal.  Gonzalez went four for six with one run and four RBIs.  Youk went three for five, two of them doubles and the third a home run, with two runs and three RBIs.  Papi went two for five, both doubles, with two runs.  Lowrie went two for five with an RBI.  And Salty went two for three with a home run, two walks, three runs, and an RBI.  We left ten on base but went seven for nineteen with runners in scoring position.

The final score was 15-5.  We’ve been waiting for a game like this all season long, and the fact that it occurred against the Cubs in that historic context made it all the more ridiculously awesome.  And it continues tonight, when both teams will don throwback uniforms for an extra-vintage feel.  Due to the fact that two of our starters are currently on the DL, we’ll be throwing Aceves tonight followed by Wake tomorrow.  The good news is that Beckett’s neck seems to be feeling better, so that’s one less starter we have to worry about.  I just really, really want to sweep the Cubs.  Let’s extend our winning streak against the Cubs at home over a span of ninety-three years.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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