The Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, a place with all the charm and quirk of a Wes Anderson flick. They built things differently a 100 years ago and it shows. There’s a pesky pole down the rightfield line and a towering wall in left. The dimensions giveth and they taketh away.
On Sunday night, the 37-foot wall was a monster factor for the home team when they needed a jolt against Houston. Two fly balls that may have been outs anywhere else turned into doubles and allowed Boston to erase a 4-2 deficit in the third inning.
First, Steve Pearce’s line brought Marwin Gonzalez up close and personal with the Green Monster. Then, with the bases loaded, Jackie Bradley Jr.’s casual loft carried enough to ding the wall and bring in three much-needed runs after it rolled along some padding down the line.
Not all ballparks are created equal. This is a joy of baseball. Everyone is unique, like a snowflake. Fenway’s quirks would once again come into play in the ninth with the Astros trying to overcome a three-run hole. Jose Altuve banged a long single off of it to bring Alex Bregman, the potential tying run, to the plate with two outs.
Bregman then popped up a lazy fly ball that flirted with the short porch before falling into Andrew Benetendi’s glove and evening the series. And Boston needed it. A 2-0 hole would have been catastrophic, especially with the health of Chris Sale now a concern.
Their backs aren’t firmly up against the wall now, in part because of a famous one.