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Road Trip to St. Louis

June 6-8, 2005

The third game was on a Wednesday night, and the time had been moved up to 6:05 pm Central Time so ESPN could show it on Wednesday Night Baseball. It was sunny when the gates opened, and I went down behind the Red Sox dugout again. But I wasn't there long when some really threatening-looking clouds rolled in. I figured I'd better move soon, and I was right, because a couple of minutes later it started really pouring. My seat tonight was finally in the lower level, behind home plate, almost all the way back but that meant it was under cover. I waited there while it rained... and rained... and rained. Just my luck - my flight home was tomorrow afternoon, so if they didn't get the game in tonight I wouldn't get to see it. Of course this was also the best and most expensive seat I had for the series. I figured I'd give my ticket stub to some worthy person near me, and maybe they'd be able to trade it in for a future game. Tonight there was a guy on my left who was there with his grown sons. He said they were season ticket holders and had been to the World Series games last year. They had even caught a foul ball hit by Orlando Cabrera. He said he had gone to school in Boston thirty years ago and been to Fenway Park, so he was happy for the Red Sox when they won. I figured if the game got rained out, I'd offer him my ticket stub.

Tek signs autographs At one point the rain slowed a bit and Jason Varitek came out of the Red Sox dugout to sign some autographs. The longer the rain delay went, the more hopeful I was that the game would be played tonight. They wouldn't stay here for two or three hours tonight if they were just going to have to come back tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. I amused myself by taking pictures of "historical" spots, like the home bullpen, where Johnny Damon's leadoff home run from Game 4 of the World Series had landed, and the section in left field near the visitors' bullpen where Manny's homer had gone in Game 3. With all the rain, there was even a big puddle on the right field warning track, just like the one Trot Nixon had splashed into as he dove for a ball in Game 3. Finally, they announced the game would start just after 9:00, after a three-hour rain delay.

The rain had stopped by then, and there was no problem getting the game in. Tonight's matchup was David Wells against Chris Carpenter. It was actually the matchup I was most concerned about going into the series. I trusted that Tim Wakefield and Matt Clement, who had been doing really well so far in the season, would win, but both of them had bad outings. Meanwhile, I remembered that Carpenter had always done well against the Red Sox when he played for the Blue Jays. (He had been injured at the end of 2004, and wasn't available for the World Series.) And I wasn't sure about Wells yet. I had always thought of him as a big bum when he was in New York and Toronto. I hadn't seen him in person yet this year, but he had had a couple of very good outings and a couple of real stinkers. I just wasn't sure how much he had left in the tank at age 42.

Foulke pitches in St. Louis For the first five innings, both pitchers were spinning gems. The Red Sox had only managed four singles, while the Cardinals had only three baserunners, one of whom was erased on a doubled play and another who was caught stealing. Finally in the sixth, the Red Sox broke through. David Ortiz homered for a 1-0 lead. (Leave it to Big Papi to get things going!) Kevin Millar and Trot Nixon followed with singles, and Varitek's double knocked them both in. Ahh, this is what I came here to see! It was just like Game 4, with a 3-0 lead, and the first run had even scored on a homer with the next two coming on a double! The next two batters walked, but Wells struck out and Damon grounded out to end the inning. The Cardinals went down quietly the next three innings, and after eight, Wells had only thrown 93 pitches. I had admittedly been slow to warm up to the idea of him being on my team, but I was starting to come around. Maybe he wasn't completely washed-up yet! As much as I wanted to see him pitch a complete game, Keith Foulke was warming up, and I wanted to see more Game 4 parallels.

In the top of the ninth, Edgar Renteria, who had been hitless so far in this series against his former team, finally broke through with a home run. It wasn't 3-0 any more, but I was happy to see him finally do something. Foulke did come on for the ninth, and allowed two singles before getting out of it. The final out wasn't a comebacker to the mound - it was a fly ball to left - but I wasn't going to complain. The trip hadn't been a total waste, and as Foulke and Varitek shook hands after the game, I made sure to get pictures of the team celebrating on the field in St. Louis, even if it was a slightly smaller celebration than the last one they had here!

Red Sox celebrate on the field in St. Louis

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This page and all photos copyright © 2005-2006 by Kristen D. Cornette.