Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Land of the Rising Sun, Indeed

Merry Christmas, Sox fans. The boys opened up the 2008 campaign in Tokyo this morning with a rousing 6-5 victory in extra innings over the A's. Brandon Moss of all people hit a huge game-tying homer in the top of the 9th and then Manny broke a 4-4 tie in the 10th with a 2-run double. Some nervousness in the bottom of the 10th but Papelbon squeezed out his first save.

All in all, a pretty interesting event, this Opening Day in Tokyo stuff. The Sox - for all their jet-lag kvetching and the threatened boycott over coaches' pay - seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves in Japan, at least from the TV footage I've seen. The fans go nuts of course whenever Dice-K or Hideki Okajima are involved. The Tokyo Dome has beer girls who walk around the park with little kegs strapped to their backs, and the PA inexplicably plays the theme song to The Jetsons on every foul ball. "His boy Elroy..."

Dice-K turned in his usual inconsistent performance, struggling early but then finding his groove in his last three innings. He left with a 3-2 lead after five, giving up 5 walks and striking out 6. Maybe he got a case of the homeland jitters.

In any event, the Sox are perfect on the young season and we'll do this crazy Japan thing all over again tomorrow morning. After that, it's off to Los Angeles (weirdly) for three exhibition games this weekend before the real games come back for good on April 1 against these same A's.

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