The Red Sox 'pen looked better than the Red Sox fans on Friday night.

Maybe it’s the effect of winning a World Series, for both fan bases. Clearly, the shine has worn off a bit in Boston after three titles this millennium — and that's just the Red Sox. Astros fans, meanwhile, are still basking in the glow of an amazing 2017. 

Certainly, some of Fenway Park’s atmosphere was due to the fact the Texans are in Foxboro on Sunday. A weekend trip to Boston is cheaper for Houstonians if you’re seeing not one, but two teams: the Texans may be the big ticket, and the Astros the bonus. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

Whatever the cause, the scene was strange on Friday night at Fenway Park, when Astros fans were so much more raucous than their Sox counterparts. The Texans (the people, not the team) were loud and overpowering, the Bostonians stunned, or at least subdued.

Except, of course, when Sweet Caroline played in the eighth inning.

“Dude, that was a trip man,” Astros starter Gerrit Cole said on Friday night. “I couldn’t believe everyone was out there, they’re probably going to the Patriots game, going to double dip. That’s all right. I was talking to the guy at the hotel and he was like, ‘Oh my Gosh, I was over at the park earlier and you guys have so many fans. I’ve never seen anything like this. The Yankees don’t even pull this.’

 

“He dropped the 'I’ve been working here for 15 years’ kind of thing, so I guess it’s a big deal for Houston fans to be here. It was great to have the support, especially around the bullpen and especially around the dugout.”

Yankees fans do still draw well. But usually, Sox fans give it right back to them. The natural give and take. The Astros fans were everywhere, and maybe they were simply unexpected. They crawled the Green Monster. They were hooting and hollering as they left the park. Orange shirts were pooling in different pockets throughout the night.

Do Red Sox fans not feel the sense of animosity toward the Astros that they should? Did last year’s playoffs not leave a memorable bruise? Everyone saw the American League Division Series, right?

During the game “Let’s Go Astros,” wasn’t some small interruption. Anyone in the park could hear it — coordinated, fluid. Loud. Just odd.

Maybe the noise balance was an aberration. Maybe it was just an off night for the Sox fans in a great season. You know, like the Sox bullpen in a 6-3 loss. 

It was very hot in Boston this week. People may have been tired. Back to school, all that. It doesn’t get too hot in Houston, remember.

Either way, Sox fans can do better. They almost always do. They should rediscover their voice for Saturday. Practice a bit. Tom Brady deserves a lot of love on Sunday, but so does the best team in baseball by record.

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