|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|
Mike Napoli launched two home runs off an ineffective Josh Beckett, and the Angels outlasted the Red Sox 5-4 in 12 innings. Napoli finished 3-5 with those two HRs, three RBI, and three runs scored, including the game-winning run in the 12th on an Erick Aybar single.
Beckett was hit hard and hit often, lasting only five innings (106 pitches). He allowed four runs on nine hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Only one question about Beckett’s performance remains: was he injured?
“I can’t answer that,” said catcher Jason Varitek when asked if Beckett was hurt.
The Sox bullpen pitched well with men on base, as the Angels tallied 16 hits and five walks, but the Angels finally broke through in the 12th off Javier Lopez (0-1). Overall, the bullpen tossed seven innings and allowed seven hits, one walk, and the game-winning run.
Dustin Pedroia has absolutely killed the Red Sox hitting at the top of the order, going 0-5 and leaving him hitless in the series. Pedroia has gone 0-13, and needs to pick it up. The Sox can win the Angels series without him (they almost did Sunday night) but will desperately need him if they move on to face either the White Sox or Rays in the ALCS.
The 3-4-5 hitters in the Angels’ lineup have also killed the Red Sox in the ALDS. Mark Teixeira went 2-6 (.538 in the series), Vladimir Guerrero went 2-4 (.583 in the series), and Torii Hunter went 2-6 (.429 in the series).
The Sox will turn to Jon Lester Monday night in Game 4 against John Lackey.