|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|
Before his eighth inning at bat Tuesday night, Jason Varitek was 1-for-his-last-30 at the plate. It’s hard to believe considering I don’t recall naming him Diamond Dud, but he tends to escape much criticism due to his team leadership and his excellent management of the pitching staff. In addition to his normal contributions, Varitek added a slump-busting, game-winning single in the eighth to give the Sox a 5-4 lead and win.
After that inning, Jonathan Papelbon closed it out in the ninth for his 22nd save. Kevin Youkilis, who has a big black eye, entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement for Brandon Moss. Youk originally arrived at Fenway Tuesday afternoon, but Terry Francona noted that he looked he was “beat up” as Youk’s eye was still watering. He was sent to an eye specialist, but apparently he’s going to be OK if he can field balls at first base for an inning.
Sox Stud of the Game:
Jason Varitek‘s hit wouldn’t have come without the studly Mike Lowell, who hit a clutch two-run double in the eighth inning to tie the game, then scored the go-ahead run after the Tek single. Lowell went 2-3 overall with one run, one walk, and two RBI.
Diamond Dud of the Game:
Oh no!…I guess it wouldn’t last forever. Could this be the end of J.D. Drew‘s white-hot streak? In his last three games, he is now 0-12 including an 0-4 last night. Drew had Sox fans forgetting about the loss of David Ortiz, but if he slips into a slump, we will all be eager to see Big Papi back in the lineup.