“Many of my Defining Moments Came Within a Game”…..Curt Schilling

I had tickets to last nights game at Fenway. To be honest, despite the fact that the Sox have been playing very well, I was not all that excited about going to see Rick Porcello on the bump. I mean he has been really getting waxed most of the year and there was no reason to think that it would not continue.

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Rick Porcello has pitched like a deer in the headlights; entering Wednesday nights game versus the Marlins with a 4-9 mark and a 6.08 ERA. He’d surrendered 16 homers in 95 innings.

However, Tuesday morning I was listening to WEEI and I caught their segment with Curt Schilling. John Dennis, who courageously and quite publically has confronted some defining moments of his own, asked a very insightful question. “Schil…..Is it possible that tonight is a career defining moment for Porcello?” Dennis added the caveat that it was not a big game in the post season sense or even in a “gotta have it” sense. But……

Schilling responded; “Many of my defining moments came within games…….Nobody even knew about them…….I drew on them throughout my career.”  He then added “This is as much pressure as there is……he’ll put it on himself.” Upon further review……I was now looking forward to my Wednesday night trip to Fenway.

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                                    John Hancock Towers; old and new.

So I made my way in. It was a solo flight as big bro had lots of work to do preparing for his move (That’s another story for another day). I found a meter on Bay State Road and headed over the Brookline Ave Bridge.

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               The Hancock brothers from the haaaaaht of Kenmore Square.

Jumped in a little early,

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grabbed some BP

P1180340and had a great conversation with Frank.

Frank’s first trip to Fenway was in 1949 when he saw Mike Garcia of the Indians pitch against Mel Parnell. His uncle, who had just returned from the Navy, brought him to his first ever game.

A retired Boston cop, Frank has been working at Fenway for 10 years and his greatest thrill was an afternoon spent sitting with Johnny Pesky, a boyhood hero, talking about the greatest of games played in this the greatest park.

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I walked through the guts of Fenway, which I have not done in quite some time and reminded myself that this lovely ballpark is, in and of itself, also a museum.

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The walkway up to a bleacher section pays tribute to a speech made at Fenway by FDR in November of 1944. It was his last ever campaign speech.

The game began and my focus was on Porcello as I wanted to see how he would respond to the pressure, self imposed or otherwise.

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He struggled with his command early but made a few pitches when he had to and with some defensive help got through three innings without giving up a run.

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A Marlins error and a two run rocket shot into the Monster seats by Ortiz, gave Porcello and the Sox a 4-0 lead. It all looked good, until……It wasn’t!

In the fourth, he was bombarded with five straight hard hit singles and just like that it was 4-2 the bases loaded and one out. A nice play by Sandoval at third led to a force out at home and then Porcello himself ended the inning with a nice play on a hard comebacker. It was in this inning where Porcello’s defining moment may have come.

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Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis visited Porcello in the fourth inning with the bses jammed and one out. He had just surrendered five straight hard hit singles and the Marlins had cut the lead in half to 4-2.

Following this visit, Porcello set down eight straight Marlin hitters. EIGHT STRAIGHT! He did it by finding great command of a curve ball which had been non competitive and a slider which he used for consecutive swinging strikeouts on the last two hitters he faced in the sixth.

Now I’m not foolish enough to think that all is well inside the heart and mind of Rick Porcello. There’s a long way to go and the Marlins without Giancarlo Stanton are an abysmal hitting group.

BUT……

Last night he battled through a situation which, throughout this year has been an albatross.

Did he find within a defining moment which he can call upon down the road? Only he and he alone can answer that question……

But the Sox have won nine of 11 and the Yanks are coming. I like the feel of that!

And so it is on this day in history, Porcello defining time, July 9, 2015

 

 

 

 

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About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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3 Responses to “Many of my Defining Moments Came Within a Game”…..Curt Schilling

  1. You make me laugh. And some really terrific photographs. Love the one of the FDR commemorative wall. I don’t remember seeing it, even though I can’t count how many times we’ve been to Fenway. Another great post!!

  2. Marilyn….Thank you…..I’ve gotten spoiled by the modern Fenway amenities but on this night I walked around in the bowels four times. Lots and lots of cool stuff!

    • Garry Armstrong says:

      Hey, Ray, Marilyn’s other half, now at bat!! Love this post on so many levels.
      John Dennis is a friend and former Ch-7 colleague. It’s good to see him back in the saddle. We shared many “adventures”.
      Porcello and the game: I agree with Schilling’s take. Porcello really needed to turn in a solid performance. The win was just dessert. We are enjoying the Sox mini streak without losing sight of reality.
      Visit with old friend: I think that made the post “sing”. I remember visits with Johnny Pesky who “adopted” me and shared stories, anecdotes that shaped a lifetime in baseball. Johnny would always ask how the “suits” were treating me at work. It was genuine concern and interest.
      Pictures: You capture history and intimacy of Fenway. Marilyn and I just re watched the Ken Burns’ “Roosevelts” series. So, the FDR Fenway pic truly resonated.
      It would be swell (who says “swell” anymore?) if Marilyn and I could team up with you for a game or maybe just lunch before winter sets in. I think we’d have lots of fun.
      It’ll be interesting to see how the Yankees weekend plays out. I grudgingly respect how well they’ve played with this year’s edition of the dreaded pinstripes.
      Mercy!

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