The real story here isn’t the game at Fenway on Friday, but the events leading up to the game. That’s right, I’m of course talking about the biennial Porter-Fenway bar crawl. The prestigious event commenced in the early evening, culminating in a ceremonial toast in the right field bleachers. You already know all about that tradition, so I’ll hop right into the happenings.
Stop One: Outside Billy’s Old Apartment
I must confess that I was not with the crawl at the first stop, outside of my friend Billy’s old apartment at Porter Square in Cambridge. The crew of several Longmeadow High School alumni and friends stopped at the townhouse, took a shot of tequila, and carried on the trek to Fenway. An industrious stop, but a necessary one.
Stop Two: Phoenix Landing
The Phoenix Landing, located at Central Square in Cambridge, felt like the appropriate second choice as the Premier League kicked off on Friday afternoon. The Irish Pub hosts watch parties for just about every sporting event, as well as trivia on Wednesday nights. In 2021, my roommates and I took a walk during a snowstorm past the bar and were called in by the owner who fed us free chicken soup. 10/10 hospitality. Highly recommend. This is where I joined the crawl.
Beer of Choice: Kona Big Wave
Stop Three: Miracle of Science
We decided, as we approached Fenway, to get our wits about us. Everyone knows that alcohol at a science-themed bar makes you smarter. The bar features a menu styled after the periodic table and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. They have a small tap list from regional breweries that rotates often. My friend Ryan explained what it means to be an architect; most of it went over my head. He’s always been talented.
Beer of Choice: Aeronaut IPA
Stop Four: Naco Taco
At this point, some members of the crawl stayed behind to go to the bathroom while others trekked onwards. Four of the members stopped at Naco Taco for “the fastest beer”. Despite the beers being donned the fastest beers, they were consumed at a moderate pace.
Beer of Choice: Modelo
Stop Five: The Corner Tavern
Crossing the bridge into Boston, the crawl then stopped at their final stop on the way to Fenway, the Corner Tavern. The Massachusetts Avenue bar is dug out and 95% underground, but doesn’t feel overly divey. Bar games were played, beers were consumed, and good times were had by all.
Beer of Choice: Lawson’s Hazy Rays IPA
There was a game played at Fenway on Friday against the lowly, yet persistent Detroit Tigers. The Tigers’ lineup is suspect, but they do have some talent in the rotation. Tarik Skubal has a bright future and is slowly regaining form as he comes off flexor tendon surgery. The Red Sox never felt truly in danger of losing the game, as they jumped out to an early lead and limited traffic on the basepaths throughout.
Chris Sale (4.2 IP, 1 H 2 ER, 7 K)
I know the Tigers aren’t the best lineup in the league, but my oh my, what a return from Chris Sale. Seven whiffs on 14 swings on the four-seamer? 35% CSW on the slider? Just take a look at the pitch plot.
As I said, the Tigers aren’t the best lineup. Regardless, the fastball location is great. You’d like to see the sliders more concentrated down and glove side, but for a first outing, you can’t hate this. Quality innings out of Sale would be massive going forward.
Trevor Story (2-4, 1 SB)
Story looked so much better tonight after a few games where it was clear he wasn’t quite up to speed. He didn’t strike out at all tonight and hit the ball hard in three of his at-bats. It’s probably excessive to expect him to be all the way back after three games, but tonight was certainly a step in the right direction. He stole a base, too.
Chris Murphy (3 IP, 4 K, 2 BB)
How about Chris Murphy? I don’t know that anyone has given him his flowers this season while he’s been a huge part in keeping this team in the mix as they’ve dealt with a makeshift pitching staff. I wasn’t overly impressed by anything he did tonight in particular, but he managed to get outs and take some of the burden away from the bullpen. He also looks like Jack Harlow. That has to count for something.
Bonus Stud: The Proper Lovers
The best band you’ve probably never heard of is performing at Bill’s Bar tomorrow after the game. Be there or be square. But don’t be there before me, I don’t want to deal with a line to get in. @TheProperLovers on Instagram
Mastaka Yoshida (0-4, 1 K)
Not his night. You have to wonder if he’s struggling from the sheer amount of games played. It’s his first year in the major leagues, there were always going to be growing pains. I’m really not too worried about it.
Isaac Greenberg (My Friend, Absent)
Perhaps I should put myself in this spot, as I bought a ticket and still wasn’t granted entry into the stadium, but Isaac Greenberg didn’t even attempt to finish the crawl. Some analysts have pointed to his lack of tenacity for his absence, others have fought for Greenberg, saying he had to be in bed early due to his active lifestyle. Over the Monster reached out for comment with no success.
The GameTime App
I bought my ticket tonight from Gametime, but when I arrived at the stadium there was no barcode to scan to get into the game. I was directed to the ticket office, who told me to contact Gametime, who told me I “should have a good chance of getting a refund”. I hate to use the platform I’m lucky enough to have to complain, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing through Gametime if you’re from out of town. By the time my customer service call was answered, it was the fifth inning and I had to return home. Gametime was the only sore spot in what was otherwise a great Porter-Fenway bar crawl.
Play of the Game
It’s Triston Casas’ three-run homer off Tarik Skubal. You can’t leave a slider there against Casas and expect to come out unscathed.