Saturday, April 14, 2007

The first pitch

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Well that was how the first pitch looked from the front row of the Monster - and while it doesn't look like it in that photo, it did end up a strike 1.

The Sox did a lot of cool things to celebrate Daisuke's home debut - from announcing his spot in the lineup in Japanese to having the first pitch thrown out by the Consul General at the Japanese 'Consulate' in Boston - that, and quite a few ads in Japanese around the ground.

Wednesday was a cold night in Boston, but well worth the 6 hour round trip - it didn't quite end up in the Daisuke win that I had hoped to see, but it did end in the result I had predicted to guys in the office before I left. The lay off clearly hadn't impacted Felix in the way that it did Jeff Weaver the day before... well that and the talent issue.

First pitch was really quite spectacular - the above photo was a point and hope picture that worked well, as I didn't want to be staring at a view finder when I could watch the real thing. But man, a lot of flash bulbs were popping on that pitch... and throughout that Ichiro at bat... and all subsequent AB's between the two.

While the Monster is a great experience (although the Sox are now 0-2 when I am up there), it is not really the best place to get a real view of the detail of what the pitcher is doing - Daisuke didn't look that sharp, and first pitch strikes were a problem at times, which clearly isn't his standard way of pitching. He also seemed to fidget a bit on the mound early on, but that could have been a reflection of the cold rather than anything else. As anyone watching will know, he does have an interesting pitching motion - he rocks on the balls of his feet a few times before he starts his motion proper, and there really is a distinct pause in his delivery.

Felix really had a great outing - in the first 6 innings or so, there was very little contact indeed - after that, the Sox started getting the bat on ball, there were two sharply hit balls to 2nd in the 7th, but I really did think I was going to get to see my first no-hitter... and was really feeling pretty glum that it was the Sox that were going to be on the wrong end of it. But gritty JD Drew managed to get a ball out of the outfield and preserve a modicum of pride. I play in a Yahoo league with a team called King Felix is Real - on the early season evidence, you have to think the guy is right.

One last photo - a full Fenway panorama in the middle innings - the view from the Monster really is stunning.

1 threw a strike:

At 11:09 pm, Blogger s1c said...

Awesome pics. I always hate when the sox score a ton of runs one day because it always seems that they disappear the next day. Still 7 innings and only 3 runs I will take that result every day and twice on Sunday from my starting pitchers.


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