There was pomp. There was circumstance. There was Luis Tiant, Dwight Evans, and Bobby Doerr. It was magical. And the Red Sox spoiled it by giving up their 593rd, 594th, 595th, 596th, and 597th home runs of the season. Wait, no, week. Wait, no, I was right the first time. That's the season total.
Or maybe I just pulled a random number out of the air, but it certainly feels like the Red Sox are giving up home runs at an historic pace. It's probably not fair to lump the 2011 Red Sox in with this year team just yet, but Red Sox fans have watched some truly miserable pitching over the last month-plus. Today's victim was Clay Buchholz, who gave up five solo home runs, as the New York Yankees defeated the Red Sox 6-2.
The five solo home runs weren't a record -- though the Red Sox set the record for most solo homers in a game at Fenway Park in 1977 -- nor was a career-worst performance by Buchholz, who allowed five home runs in a 2009 game against the Blue Jays. But it was still another lackluster starting-pitching performance for a team that seems to get them a lot these days.
If there's a great way to highlight Fenway Park, though, it's with balls sailing over the Green Monster, which is almost certainly the greatest architectural quirk in any pro sports stadium. It's like a lone arena having a three-point triangle, or a circular end zone that stretches thirty feet straight back in just one football stadium. It's unique, and classic and beautiful. And the Yankees hit baseballs over it all day. Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, and Russell Martin all hit one, while Eric Chavez hit two, his first multi-homer game since 2006.
Ivan Nova started the game for the Yankees, and he continued his intriguing stretch of missing bats, striking out five hitters in six innings of work, allowing two runs. Nova's sinker was already great, but his strikeout rates in the minors were always pretty blah. If he can really keep striking people out, the Yankees might have something special. They're a franchise that could really use a break like that, you know?
A franchise that could actually use a break: the Red Sox. They moved to 4-9 after ending last season 7-20, and just about all of their problems have had to do with their pitching. It was a grand celebration for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, but the Yankees were jerks and spoiled everything. Clay Buchholz didn't help.