Marathon Monday

It is one of the truly unique days of the Red Sox season. Marathon Monday. It’s the only time I truly have to set my alarm clock for a home game. But it also is a day that holds special meaning to me.

The first baseball game I ever went to when I was a kid? Marathon Monday, 1980. The date was April 21, which coincidentally enough, is today’s date? So it was 28 years ago that this whole baseball thing started for me. I was eight years old and my mother still remembers the day as a life-changing event for me. I went to the game with my dad. When my mom saw me, she said I had a look on my face she had never seen before. Yes, I found out what baseball was all about that day.

Looking back on it, it was a hot, sunny day. It was literally about 80 degrees. I was sitting in the bleachers, which were $2 a ticket at that time. There was non-stop action in the game as a look back at Retrosheet shows.

The Red Sox won the game, 9-8, against the White Sox.

Bruce Hurst started for the Sox, getting knocked out with nobody out in the second inning and allowing four hits and four runs.

Check out the Red Sox lineup from that day:

Evans RF
Burleson SS
Lynn CF
Rice LF
Perez 1B
Fisk DH
Sizemore 2B
Hoffman 3B
Allenson C

It was one of those zany Fenway days. The White Sox had a 5-1 lead by the top of the third.
But back came the Sox with a five-spot in the bottom of the third, to take a 6-5 lead. In that inning, they hit no fewer than three home runs with two outs, as the men of honor were Burleson, Rice and Fisk. Then it was the White Sox scoring three in the top of the fourth to go up 8-6.

The last laugh, however, went to the Red Sox. They scored three in the bottom of the eighth. I wish I could remember how they scored those three runs in the eighth, but the memory was a little fuzzy. All I remember is that I was hooked, and that hasn’t stopped. I also remember watching the runners go by in Kenmore Square. Bill Rodgers was the winner that day, and I remember the crowd roaring when he ran by.

Now, we’re here again today. And on to to current events: Manny (scheduled day off), Varitek (flu) and Casey (lefty pitching) are all out of the lineup.

This is the lineup:

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 1B
Drew RF
Lowrie 3B
Lugo SS
Cash C
Thurston LF

Buchholz SP

That’s all for now.

Ian.

17 Comments

Not a big fan of giving Manny the day off with this lineup… especially when he essentially had the day off yesterday.

Evans in the leadoff spot. Safe to say 28 years later, the leadoff spot has a little more speed. $2 for a bleacher ticket, times have changed.

Last game played by Francona was on Patriots Day, 1990 with the Brewers.

I hope the Red Sox can finish off the sweep today. When the series started, I was hoping for 3 of 4.

Sox are starting to seperate themselves a little bit here. They have won 10 of there last 13 and 4 in a row.

Geez… the decision to use Thurston over Manny sure looks good so far.

I just looked up Francona’s last game. Brewers smoke the Red Sox 18-0 on 20 hits on Patriots Day. Francona went 0 for 2 but did score a run. One of the rare times where Mike Boddicker got hit hard. I thought some of you would be interested in that.

What is the SOX attraction with players they don’t need, Gagne last year, Thurston this year?– wouldn’t Kielty been a much better fit today? can they not bring Kielty up and down, or is that a consideration to Kielty, or a non-possibility contracturally?

Kielty had to go thru waivers to get to A.A.A.

I assume the Red Sox told Kielty, as soon as we deal Crisp, you’ll be up to the big leagues. Just a guess of course.

I would rather see Moss than Thurston.

Hey guys,

Very strange game today. Lots of base stealing, some bad — really bad base running on the Sox part, infield hits, errors and Gabbard leaving so early. Well, whatever it takes to get a win I suppose.
Texas right now is collapsing. Interesting to see if the Sox can hold the lead with the pitching staff.

Hey guys,

I think at 8 – 0 they have a reasonable chance of taking this one. Papi is getting on fire again. Had Gabbard stayed in, I am sure it would have been a tight game…but who knows.

Well, enough of taking time off of work. I’ll talk to you later. Buckholz got a good game in. I think with the lead he’s finding a little confidence in himself.

Dave…

Thank God we didn’t actually need Thurston to produce… 9 men left on base, nobody driven in. Probably getting close to a major league record for a 9 inning game. The guy has no business whatsoever to be in the bigs. What’s the scoop on Kielty? I guess Crisp is still suffering from mentrual cramps? Those should only last 3-4 days.

Yeah, agree Thurston is terrible and luckily we do not need his bat. Oh, Aardsma is in troble, one run in and man on 2d with one out. Man on 2d and 1st with one out. Correction 2 outs and 2 KKs.

And pitching change. Lopez is coming in to pitch to a lefty. Francona surely does not waste any time as if managing a 1 run game. Aardsma did not have it. Lopez did his job.

Look at that, Lugo’s 4 for 4, batting over .300 now. Maybe he’s starting to settle in. Hope so, if he can steal some bases he could really help the team from the bottom of the order.

Kason Gabbard only lasted 2 innings after taking a spill off the mound when he apparently lost his footing in the second inning. At first, Gabbard appeared to be alright, but did not return for the third inning. Dustin Nippert replaced Gabbard and threw a dreadful game allowing 9 hits, 4 walks, and 8 earned runs over 2.1 innings. For the Sox, Clay Buchholz had his best start of the year going 6 innings allowing only 5 hits and walking 2 with 0 ER. Buccholz also recorded 6 strikeouts.
Julio Lugo had a career day going 4-4 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base. Perhaps Lugo may be stepping up to the plate with a bit more urgency as Jed Lowrie is nipping at his heels, turning in consistent impressive performances. However, no matter how well Lowrie plays, Francona is a guy that likes to stick with his players. We saw this last year when Pedroia struggled through the first month of the season hitting under .200, and then later in the year when Lugo struggled hitting around .180. Lowrie was part of quartet of Red Sox rookies in today’s lineup that also included Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Cash, and Joe Thurston. Thurston was brought up after Alex Cora went to the DL with a sore elbow. I was surprised to see that the Red Sox elected to call up Joe Thurston who has been bounced around the minor leagues and has played a handful of games in the Majors in 04 with the LA Dodgers and 06 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead, I thought they might bring up Brandon Moss again, considering what he did in Japan and the buzz that stirred around him in Red Sox Nation helping the Sox come from behind in Game 1. Moss would bring the Red Sox a left handed power threat opposed to a left hand contact hitter in Thurston. Thurston’s average was lower in Pawtucket at .255 opposed to Moss’s .286. Moss also led Thurston significantly in HRs, RBIs, and Total Bases. The one statistic that Joe Thurston was significantly better in than Moss was strikeouts. Moss has struck out 24 times in 70 ABs opposed to Thurston who had 8k’s in 47 ABs. Perhaps this was the main reason why the Sox brass selected Thurston rather than Moss, however I would have liked to see Brandon be the one they brought up.

http://thefenwayfaithful.blog.com/

Guys, the reason Joe Thurston is with the Sox right now instead of Moss or Kielty is that the team needs an infielder. Thurston is a middle infielder by trade, but he can play the outfield. Remember, Lowell and Cora are on the disabled list, so it makes sense to have Thurston along with Lowrie. The only other viable option would have been Keith Ginter, but Thurston is more versatile since he can play the outfield. I think it was a wise move to bring up Thurston. And he has tasted success in cups of coffee in the big leagues, though he hasn’t looked good at the plate so far in Boston. Yet he has made some solid plays in left field.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

From one birthday boy to another…Happy birthday Tito!

You’ve got to wonder if the players read these columns — just yesterday we were scrutinizing Julio Lugo…and he goes 4 for 4!!! I saw one replay in which the announcer suggested he was getting pushed by Jed Lowrie — whose making a nice splash in the time he’s up.

14 -7, most of the way through what some described as an unfairly difficult month of April. Lets see if Josh, Dice-K and Jon L can keep it going vs. the Angels. Then Tampa Bay and Toronto. The one place they haven’t shone yet is vs. the division, where they are only 3 – 5. Hopefully these upcoming games will improve that record.

Does anyone know why the Sox play 7 away games vs. Oakland, and only 2 against my hometown Indians?

Sorry to see Kason G get hurt. For that matter, I am sorry to see him in another uniform. I really liked him. How anyone can think Gag-Me is anything but a stiff is beyond me. Why do the Sox play those 2 games vs. the Brewers in May? I didn’t think inter-league started until June. I’d like nothing better than for the Sox to light up that idiot in both of those games.

Things appear to be running on all cylinders when you put out the line-up we did yesterday and still get the sweep, in a rout. We really need to keep the foot on the gas and try to put up as big of a lead as possible so we can rest/manage our team for the playoffs. I really believe all other AL teams except the Angels will have a long struggle this season. We are clearly a cut above the rest.

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