Sunday, March 30, 2008
115,300 fans packed the LA Coliseum to watch last night's Dodgers/Red Sox game in the latest chapter to an already bizarre March for the Red Sox. As you can tell from the pictures, the playing field had some interesting dimensions. The official distance to the left field foul pole was 201 feet, but was generally estimated at about 190. But a 60 foot mesh screen erected above the fence, which counted as a wall, would make bleeder line drive homeruns impossible. Center and right field were considerably more than 400 feet from the plate.
The defensive alignments displayed by both teams were also nontraditional. The Dodgers employed 5 infielders, which at one point saw Andruw Jones covering 2nd when Jacoby Ellsbury stole the base. The Red Sox shifted their left-fielder into left-center, assigning short-stop Alex Cora the responsibility of chasing down balls hit out there.
But despite the weirdness, predictions of high scores (such as Jason Varitek's forecast of an 85-81 victory, or Alex Cora's prediction of a USC football kind of score) were not meant, and a relatively normal 7-4 game was played.
Wakefield looked good through 5 innings but struggled in the 6th. Youkilis hit a towering shot over the 60 foot fence in left, and Kevin Cash added a homerun 20 rows deep into the left-center bleachers. Papelbon's line suggests he struggled, but he did have to pitch around a pair of errors.
The Red Sox have one final exhibition game against the Dodgers in the more traditional confines of Dodger stadium. Then it's time for games that matter...again.
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Jeff Gross/Getty Images