June 4, 2011
Red Sox 9 - Athletics 8
W: Aceves (3-1) L: Moscoso (2-1)
Baseball is the ultimate story. One inexorable and seemingly timeless plot - full of many subplots over which we have no control - drives to an uncertain but ultimately sure conclusion. We don't know in advance who the main characters will be, and every cameo appearance holds a promising significance. Apparent losers suddenly become heroes and vice-versa. For all our knowledge of stats and scouting reports and pre-game hype, we have no way of predicting when the dramatic climax or game-winning moment will come, or what form it will take. This is a truth we know only in retrospect.
Unlike stories told in books, we cannot turn to a final page, read its closing paragraph, and understand on some level how the narrative will end.
Yet when all is said and done, once we know the outcome of a baseball story, the box score is there for the taking as a work of art (just as images linger in our memories), serving as an outline after the fact, retelling the drama that some of us may have witnessed live in all its curious and tantalizing ups and downs. The box score and play-by-play read to me like a poem, time once unhurried and unmeasured but now compressed; a sensation entirely different from the action itself; a satisfying pattern of words and numbers, bringing the game back to us for good.
June 4, 2011. Fenway Park. Boston vs. Oakland
Weather: 60 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 15 mph, In from RF.