Before I went to the game last night, I updated my Facebook status to say that I was "ready to catch Papi's first homer". Since I had written something similar before the last game I went to, I didn't really expect it to come true, but this time it did!
First there were Tek's two homers to bring the game to 3-0. Then with two outs in the bottom of the 5th, the big Papi comes up to the plate. We had all wildly cheered for him during his previous 2 at-bats, and this at-bat was no different, except for the result: with a 1-1 count, he belts out a hit that had all the potential height and velocity of a home run. It looks so familiar coming from Ortiz, but it's been so long since the last one. Could this possibly be...? I think every pair of eyes in the stadium was tracking that ball as it sailed closer and closer to the center field bleachers. To my eyes it hit right around the yellow tape, so when I started screaming with everyone else I still wasn't sure if it was a homer or a long double, but as I watched Papi round the bases, my screams only got louder. And of course, we couldn't let his first homer go unacknowledged, so we chanted "PA-PI, PA-PI" over and over again until he rewarded us with stepping out of the dugout to give us a tip of the hat.
But that wasn't the end of the inning, nosiree. I was too busy texting Dan to see when Bay hit his homer, but once the crowd started cheering again, I managed to catch the ball flying over the Green Monster. And then Mike Lowell stepped up to the plate and gave us a back-to-back. It was like Fenway had turned into the new Yankee Stadium for a half inning!*
At the beginning of the bottom of the 6th, Lily asked me what a "putout" was. I had to admit I didn't know, but then she pointed out the jumbotron which said that Ellsbury had broken the club record for number of putouts by an outfielder in a single game. I was confused because Ellsbury hadn't even come up to bat yet that inning, and he certainly hadn't done anything remarkable offensively that game (except for increasing this hitting streak to 15 games with a bunt single in the 3rd). But then I started picturing all the fly balls that had gone to him already in the game. While I had mentally noted to myself that he was certainly catching a lot of fly balls, I didn't know there was a term for making outs or even a record to break. But I should've known; this is baseball: there's a record for everything. And so by catching the last out in the top of the 9th, Jacoby ended up tying the MLB record for most putouts in a game at 12.
Lastly, I just needed to record the fact that last night I saw one man get 38,000 people to do the wave in only two tries. Two tries! It usually takes a whole bunch of people at least 4 tries to get a wave going into the rightfield grandstand, and then another 4 to get it to the infield seats. But this happened in only 2 attempts. By one guy. This, my friends, is where amazing happens this year.
*Of course, I am only referring to the suspiciously high number of home runs that have been hit in the new toilet bowl since it opened this season.