Well, I've got the season off to a good start. I actually applied the Earl strategy to last night's game. This involves Bukowski's, beer, and burgers for the first inning or two and then heading over to Fenway. I find Earl's method to be a great approach especially if there is a potential for rain delay, which was mild last night, but whatever it's still less expensive then eating at Fenway and the beer is WAY better.
Here are a couple of observations, made from Fenway.
Given: The game is SO MUCH better LIVE (no d'uh, but I thought I had a good read on this team and a couple of things change last night)
1. Pena is not comfortable in the field, neither is Youk. I think Youk has done a great job so far, but you can tell that he's not settled into first yet. They didn't rule it an error, but there was a line drive right at him that he missed. I was a bit suprised because it was the type of play at third you see them at least get a glove on. I think the whole keeping the runner honest/on is a bit tough to adjust to.
2. Clement has no filth. Again, I knew that coming into the game, but it's SO OBVIOUS when you see him pitch. Regardless, he pitched as well as I could expect and would have won the game if it weren't for Timlin :-) (See number 4)
3. Papelbon, who some people are trying to call "JP", who I am calling "02130" could not locate his slider to save his life. We'll chalk up last night to character building, and hope that's not a sign of something else.
4. Timlin is on a secret mission to steal wins from starting pitchers. I think he pitches better mad. Can we do something like put tabasco in his water instead of letting him into the game with inherited runners? He did kick the first base line dirt on his way off the field. That's at least a good sign that he knows what he did.
5. Pena worked a clutch walk last night, but no one cheered?!
6. Adam Stern is AMAZING, except at bunting! I am actually suprised that he didn't show bunt and pull back for a push-bunt or whatever that is called. The D-rays third baseman was charging before the pitch. I know it's hard to see that when you're at the plate, but bunting in that case made NO SENSE. It was an out! I'd rather try to see him hit behind the runners. Of course, that could have led to a double-play, but it didn't seem like they had much of a chance to move the runner over to third once the Drays knew he was bunting. He made up for it in spades with that catch - unbelieveable!!!
7. Papi's opposite field line drive was one of the best piece of hitting I have ever witnessed. He was in total command during that at bat.
8. Budweiser is really crappy beer.
9. The fans at fenway are intense. This is an early season game against the D-rays and I stood for half the game! AWESOME!!!
10. The new changes to the park look great (from the outside).