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Home  >  Red Sox Diary  >  2002  >  April

Monday, April 1, 2002

Opening Day, 2002
Blue Jays vs. Sox
Pedro Martinez vs. Chris Carpenter

There was tremendous hype around this opening day as the new owners and new management
got to take their turn at Fenway for the first time. The Super Bowl Patriots showed up
as well as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith to sing the anthem with F-16's flying overhead.

Then the game started. Pedro wasn't himself. Some hits, some bleeders and bloopers, an
error, and the Sox were behind 8-3 and Pedro was gone. Then the hitters cranked it up
and they were ahead 11-8 before you knew it. But the Jays tied it up and went ahead in
the 9th against non-save Urbina, and opening day was lost.

The whiners came out in force on talk radio after being cooped all winter. Pedro's done
for! The Sox have no chance! Little manages just like Williams! Why didn't he pinch
hit Daubach for Hillenbrand? Why did he put Urbina in in a non-save situation?

It's only one game.

Blue Jays 12 Red Sox 11

Friday, April 5, 2002

April 5, 2002
Red Sox at Baltimore
Derek Lowe vs. Josh Towers

I turn on the tube in the 7th inning. Lowe is still in. Good sign. They're talking
about what a special game he's pitched so far. The announcers are omitting some crucial
information, like how many hits the Orioles have. I surmise that yes, Derek Lowe is
pitching a no hitter! 2nd game of the year, at Baltimore, just like last year with
Nomo. I am watching a special game. Ok he's out of the 7th. Still a no hitter.

8th inning - a little roller down the 3rd base line. Hillenbrand decides to play it
barehanded and he's safe. It is a clean hit to break up the no-no. Ok, it's 3-0 Sox so
now let's win the game.

They take Lowe out immediately after he gives up the hit. Garces gets out of the 8th and
Urbina pitches the 9th for a save uneventfully. First win of the season. And we've got
to be encouraged by Lowe's performance.

Sox 3 Orioles 0

Thursday, April 11, 2002

KC Royals at Fenway
Frank Castillo vs. Chad Durbin

This was the rubber game in a series with the apparently hapless Royals. The Sox take a
4-1 lead and it looks good as Chad Durbin looks like easy pickings. But the Royals tie
it up and it's down to relief pitching. Johnny Damon hits a big RBI triple in the bottom
of the 8th and all we need is Urbina to hold the lead. The quality closer we'd been
waiting for. Well, the roof caves in and the Royals score 4 in the ninth. So much for a
dependable closer.

This isn't looking good if the Sox can't beat up the the lowly Royals. This weekend the
Yankees come in. We'll see what the Sox are made of.

Royals 8 Sox 5

Sox are 4-3, 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees (naturally).

Sunday, April 21, 2002

The Sox are sizzling right now after beating up on the lowly Royals, destroying the Blue
Jays two games in a row, and winning 3 of 4 from the Yankees at Fenway.

The good signs - Pedro is back, with an 8 inning 1 hitter. He was dominant again like
previous years. Can we book a win every five days again? The rest of the starting
pitching is ok, with Burkett back from injury, Lowe, Castillo, and Oliver turning in
keep 'em in the game performances. But how good do they need to be with that lineup?
Damon and sometimes Henderson at the top, Nomar, Manny, Clark, Nixon, and Veritek, and
Hillenbrand learning how to hit doing some real damage. Then it's Sanchez actually
playing major league 2nd base.

Today's roster controversy - they have to send down fan favorite Lou Merloni to make room
for Burkett. They keep Offerman, argueably less valuable but a 6.5M salary they refuse
to eat.

The only bad news - the Yankees. They have so much pitching, new lineup reinforcements
in Giambi, Ventura, and White, and more money to get more players as the season wears on.

Boston    12  4 .750 --
New York  12  8 .600 2
Tampa Bay  7 10 .412 5˝
Toronto    7 10 .412 5˝
Baltimore  6 12 .333 7

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Devil Rays at Red Sox
Derek Lowe vs. Delvin James

I got tickets for this game only because I couldn't get a game with one of the good
teams. I went with Jennie and Stephie. It was Stephie's first game. We got to the game
and it was kids day at Fenway. The players were introduced each with a kid. There were
kids doing the PA announcing for the first few innings. And there was announcement that
kids would be able to run the bases after the game. What a great day for the kids -
they're really trying to be fan friendly after years of arrogance.

What a game! It was 7-0 after 3 innings as the Sox put together a bunch of hits to score
6 runs in the 3rd. Lowe was pitching wonderfully, throwing ground ball after ground ball
with pinpoint control. In the 4th inning I started noticing he had a no-hitter going.

By inning 5, the game was pretty much over. Lowe continued getting 1-2-3 innings and
everyone in the crowd could sense it was a special game. He'd already taken a no-hitter
into the 8th in one game. Here we were again. By inning 8 the crowd roared with every
out. He got them out in the eighth and the crowd went wild. The Sox stretched out the
tension by scoring 2 more runs in the eighth. It must have been torture for Lowe. A
standing ovation greeted him to come out in the ninth. The first batter hit a soft liner
to 2nd. Easy play. Then the next batter hit a liner to left center. We all held our
breaths. Rickey ran at full speed for it and .. caught it knee high! Final batter. A
little grounder to 2nd. Easy play to first. YES! It's really a no-hitter!

Lowe was mobbed. The crowd went nuts. Lowe came out a few minutes later to thank the
fans after that dreadful season last year. What a thrill. It was the first no-hitter at
Fenway since 1965. I saw it with my kids. It was the thrill of a lifetime. I don't
know if they appreciated it but I certainly did. After the game and the buzz died down,
the kids and I waited in line to run the bases. That too was a thrill - walking on the
field, seeing the dugouts, seeing home plate close up. And the kids got a special thrill
running the bases.

I hope the glow of this day doesn't wear off for a while. The Sox continue to play the
games, winning, losing, fighting with the Yankees to stay in it. But this day was a
special day for the Osbers.

Sox 10 Devil Rays 0