|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|
Reigning ALCS MVP Matt Garza owns the Red Sox. OK, that may not be the most profound or shocking thing I’ve written lately, but it’s just plain true. He’s 7-1 against the Sox life time (including two wins over Jon Lester in the 2008 ALCS). Until the Sox figure him out, I don’t see any reason to believe the Red Sox can beat him any time soon.
Garza took a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with one hit and one walk in 7.2 innings, striking out 10 to earn the win. The one hit he allowed was an extremely weak ground ball up the middle off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury. Garza nearly made a play on it, but the ball got by him and Ellsbury raced down the line to beat the throw and earn the infield single. That was it in a 13-0 blowout.
Meanwhile, things got so bad for Josh Beckett and the Red Sox pitching, that everyman player Jonathan Van Every pitched in the bottom of the eighth inning. Yikes.
Jonathan Van Every, RF/RP: Other than Ellsbury’s infield single and Julio Lugo’s walk, the offense was atrocious, so our “stud” of the game is a unique choice. JVE came into the game to play right field and struck out in his only at bat. Down 12-0, Terry Francona sent JVE to the mound and the struggling Javier Lopez to right field. He allowed an RBI double (run charged to Lopez) and a walk before recording two outs to get the Sox out of it.
Josh Beckett, SP: Way to give your team a chance, Josh! Beckett was horrible Thursday night, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and three walks in just 4.2 innings pitched. For fantasy purposes he finished with eight strikeouts, but the seven-run performance raised his season ERA to 7.22.
W: Matt Garza (2-2)
L: Josh Beckett (2-2)