Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day at Fenway - Johnny Cueto Edition

Maybe its the dreadlocks, or maybe the Luis Tiant-style hesitation in his windup, but the boys love Johnny Cueto.  Do they know that he won 20 games, led the league in strikeouts and came within a hair (no pun intended) of winning the Pitching Triple Crown in 2014?  Probably not, they just know that he dreadlocks and funky windup.  In either event, once they found out that we got tickets to go see the Red Sox and the Royals play, and that Cueto was going to be the starting pitcher, the boys were in.

DLG was ambivalent "Do I have to watch another baseball game?" she tells me picturing more AAU games in her head.

"We'll buy you ice cream." I answer back.  Although I stop short of allowing her to bring her stuffed animal snake, she seemed satisfied that it was actual baseball being played.

"Who's Johnny Cueto?" She asks.  Of course she would not have spelled it correctly, but in either event the boys groan

"You don't know who Johnny Cueto is? G asks startled.  He did answer the Reds when I asked him his previous team, so maybe he does know a little bit.

Boston, MA.  6pm.  We finally arrive in stadium to watch the Royals take batting practice.  Everyone is getting antsy, but the security guard tells us to wait 30 minutes because the Red Sox will come out to stretch.  He mentioned that Brock Holt signed autographs the night before so we might be lucky.  David Ortiz and Xander Bogearts elicited a response from everyone, but it was Johnny Cueto walking to the bullpen in the distance that caught C's eye.  Too far to get an autograph from him and too close to the protective net to get BP foul balls, we returned to our seats in the RF Roof Deck.  These are our favorite seats when we come to the ball park.  It's generally not as busy and the field perspective from perched high above is breathtaking.  The tickets are more expensive than in past years, I guess it's not our secret any more.

Once we sat down, we finally started talking about the Red Sox.  Henry Owens was going to be starting.  The lanky lefty was still finding his way through a major league order, but he showed enough in his previous 3 starts to earn more time, event though Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly were coming back (and coming back strong!).  Owens was going to have his hands full tonight since the Royals were one of the top hitting teams in the American League and riding a 5 game winning streak.

The Red Sox were looking a little stronger themselves.  Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. were both hitting the cover off the ball.  Rusney Castillo and Blake Swihart were slowly getting the averages and OBP up.  There was less emphasis on Ramirez and Sandoval too which I think was part of the reason that the Sox showed some signs of life.

Tonight was no different.  Utilityman Jeff Rutledge hit a home run, Betts had three hits and Swihart has 4 hits in a 7-2 drubbing.  Cueto was chased after giving up 7 runs in 6 innings in his worst start as a Royal.  On the other hand, Owens only gave up 1 earned run in 8 strong innings.  We left as rain drops started hitting us, but it was another great game at  Fenway.

We stopped at the souvenir shop of course after the game, event though we left with the idea of beating traffic home, and spent hundred bucks on some meaningless trinkets.  I think I've already thrown out the things that G bought.  But everyone was still excited and DLG found her stuffed Wally the Green Monster animal.  There you go.

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