|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|
It was the kind of matinee you’d rather not take the kids to see.
The Red Sox were poor in all phases of the game today, losing 6-2 at Toronto. The bats? Boston was 1-12 with runners in scoring position. The pitching? Brad Penny was woeful, giving up eight hits and six earned runs through five innings, and should have been pulled earlier than he was. The defense? Jed Lowrie inexplicably failed to heed Mike Lowell’s call for a fly ball and clumsily knocked it away from the third baseman, who had the angle. George Kottaras also gave up an embarrassing passed ball.
Things looked hopeful early on, as the Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a single from Rocco Baldelli, starting for Jacoby Ellsbury, who was out of the lineup with what Terry Francona vividly described as “intestinal turmoil.” But the Jays would tie it up in the same inning on a bases-loaded double-play grounder by Kevin Millar.
Toronto took the lead on a single by Alex Rios in the fourth inning and never looked back, Jose Bautista adding a two run double in the same frame, and Adam Lind taking Penny deep for two more in the next inning. Boston got a consolation shot from Jed Lowrie, but that was all, as Marc Rzepczynski (seriously) and the Toronto bullpen held the Sox to six hits.
There’s every reason to have hope for tomorrow, however, with Josh Beckett starting and this Red Sox team proving earlier in the season that they know how to bounce back from bad losses.
Justin Masterson came on for Penny and pitched two perfect innings of relief.
Even though he scored one of the Sox’ two runs, Jed Lowrie’s error in the eighth was a real howler.
“I think he was kind of effectively wild,” said Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, straining his rationalization bone. (Source: MLB.com)