There is a lot going on in this game, beyond the game itself. A quick look at the “Game Notes” section tells us the historical significance. This game was Tim Wakefield’s 200th career start at Fenway Park. I’ll admit, I don’t know where that ranks all-time for the Red Sox, or for other teams in other parks. But, it’s pretty cool nonetheless. The other significant part of this game is alluded to at the top. The visiting team is the Los Angeles Dodgers. So, yes, this would be Manny Ramirez visiting Fenway. It wasn’t his first game back, but it was still a significant time. So, how did the game itself turn out amid all the drama? It was one heckova game!
First, take a look at the Red Sox line-up. It was only mostly decimated by injuries at this point. The first six batters actually look pretty good. But, then you get to the outfield. Hall-Nava-McDonald isn’t exactly the trio Red Sox fans were expecting at the bottom of the order. To their credit, though, those three did contribute to the game rather nicely. It’s hard to call a 5-4 game “low scoring” but that’s really the case. The Sox scratched out a run in the second. Two home runs accounted for three quick runs in the fourth and sixth. The last run was another claw and scratch way to score a run. There weren’t a lot of bases-loaded jams the Dodgers wriggled out of. Scoring threats were fairly limited. The Sox actually went 1-2-3 four times. Of course, the most important run scored was the last one. It was clearly scored in walk-off fashion, which is always an exciting way to end any game. It was the bottom of the order that kick-started the rally. Hall singled to lead things off. It looks like a botched sacrifice bunt allowed Nava to switch places with him at first. A strikeout put the pressure on the top of the order. A walk put Nava in scoring position. From there Pedroia sent us all home happy with a run-scoring single. It wasn’t exactly a perfect manufacture. But, It got the job done.
The player of the game? I’m going with Victor Martinez. He and Youkilis each scored two of the five Red Sox runs. Each homered. Martinez had three of the five RBI, to give him the edge. The goat of the day? Had to be Darnell McDonald. Hitless on the day with two strikeouts, including a key one in the bottom of the ninth. He had plenty of great games for the Red Sox in 2010. This just wasn’t one of them.
So, the Fenway faithful got to welcome back Manny once again. (He went 2-4, scored two runs, stole a base, and homered, by the way) The Red Sox won in dramatic fashion. We were treated to both “Okajima” and “Shippin’ Up To Boston,” blaring through the park.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.