|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Red Sox really should have won the first two games, but Jonathan Papelbon blew his second straight save in Game 1 as the Sox lost 7-6 after coming back to take the lead in the fifth. Mike Lamb, who entered the game for the injured Brendan Harris, hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to give the Twins the win. Jon Lester picked up the no-decision after a poor outing: 5 1/3 innings, five runs (three earned) on eight hits.
In Game 2 on Saturday night, Papelbon shut the door for his 11th save and Kevin Youkilis homered again (his eighth this season) as the Red Sox took care of business, winning 5-2. Daisuke Matsuzaka was very solid, going seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. The walks are down from last game’s eight walks, but they’re still too high and he needs to gain more command of his pitches.
The entire lineup has been heating up. In Game 2, the Red Sox hit four HRs, and they weren’t Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz. Jed Lowrie, Youk, Mike Lowell, and Coco Crisp each had long balls to help power the Sox attack. It’s really nice to see Lowrie knock one out and go 3-4 while filling in for the injured Julio Lugo (headaches).