ON THIS DATE (May 1, 2006) ...
Myers had faced David Ortiz just twice (0 for 2) before their
eighth-inning encounter tonight, when the Red Sox' impregnable DH came to
bat with his team ahead of the Yankees by one run and two runners aboard.
When Ortiz dug in on this cold (46 degrees) and windy (16 miles per hour,
blowing in) evening, the Sox and Yankees had combined for seven runs on 13
hits, all of them singles. The count went to 3-and- 2.
But of all
of the mystic elements at play, none were greater than Ortiz's bat. With a
thunderous swing, he launched the ball into the Boston night, not to come down
until it landed in the glove of Jonathan Papelbon, who was warming up in the
bullpen. Papelbon hurled it halfway up the bleachers, a proper exclamation point
to a 7-3 Sox win before 36,339 in the first of 19 regular- season meetings
between these teams.
It was an
exhausting day and game, emotionally more than physically. At 3:30 p.m., a
lineup was posted with Doug Mirabelli, acquired yesterday from the Padres,
catching. By 3:45, Jason Varitek's name was in the lineup instead. Mirabelli's
charter landed at Logan at 6:48, and his police escort arrived at the ballpark
at 7, giving Mirabelli 12 minutes to collect his thoughts and get into uniform.
At 7:01, a lineup change was announced. Mirabelli would start and bat eighth.
Varitek, meanwhile, had been warming up Tim Wakefield in the bullpen.
manager Theo Epstein had said the first pitch would be at 7:09 p.m. Somehow, it
wasn't tossed until 7:13, and that wasn't because the game was on ESPN. (A
high-ranking ESPN employee was wondering himself why the game didn't begin on
time.) At about 7:12, Mirabelli was behind the plate, catching Wakefield
offerings. Two skipped away in warmups.