|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|
First allow me to thank all of our service men and women who have died in combat while protecting our country. Without all of their sacrifices, there’s a chance this blog (or any other for that matter) would not exist. Now, to the Sox game…
For seemingly the first time all season, the front of the lineup produced as a whole, as the 1-6 hitters all finished with at least two hits Monday afternoon against the Twins. The problem with that was that David Ortiz was not in the lineup due to his season-long slump, and it looks like the Red Sox are about to take action. The Sox may play Ortiz some at first base to get his mind off hitting, and they may also drop him in the batting order. Terry Francona and Ortiz talked about it on the team plane to Minnesota, so only they really know what will happen.
As for the game, the Sox banged out 16 hits for the second straight time, but only managed six runs. Kevin Youkilis (the 3B batting in the No. 3 hole) and Jason Bay (batting cleanup) went 2-5 and had two RBI each, and Mike Lowell (the DH batting in the No. 5 spot) went 4-5 with an RBI for himself, but the team stranded 10 men on base, which nearly came back to bite them.
Jeff Bailey, playing at first base, hit a big insurance home run in the eighth inning to give the Sox a 6-3 cushion. It turns out Papelbon needed all those runs to close out the Twins. In the ninth inning Paps allowed a two-run shot to Joe Mauer as the Twins made it interesting with two outs, but he got Delmon Young to fly out in a 6-5 win for the Red Sox.
Jeff Bailey, 1B: He only went 1-3 to raise his batting average to .197, but the timing of his home run was huge, and it turned out to be the difference in the ballgame. Bailey has played adequately while filling in for Youk and Papi, and I would guess we’ll see more of him while the Sox try to work Ortiz through his troubles.
Jason Varitek, C: Tek had a Papi-like game, going 0-5 with a strikeout and seven men left on base. He’s had a pretty good year for the Sox, so all should be well with Varitek.
W: Brad Penny (5-1)
L: Francisco Liriano (2-6)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (12)