|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
For the first two games of this series, it looked like the slumbering Boston offense had woken up. But today, facing talented Baltimore righty David Hernandez, it turned out that they had simply gotten up to pee before going right back to sleep again. John Smoltz took the 6-2 loss to send the Red Sox down to two and a half games behind the Yankees.
The aging hurler got in trouble early, running up high pitch counts in the first few innings and giving up nine hits and six runs in just five innings of work. The worst was a three-run third inning, in which the Red Sox right-hander gave up three runs on a slew of two-out hits. Unusually for Smoltz, he was visibly emotional on the mound, punching his glove and yelling.
The Sox managed to crack the scoreboard late, but there was to be no rousing comeback this time, as the Baltimore bullpen squelched the Boston bats just as efficiently as starter Hernandez, who got the well-deserved win.
In all, it’s the same story that we’ve been hearing since the All-Star break — no offense, and foundering pitchers.
The young man was one of the few bright spots on the offense, going 2 for 4 with a steal and contributing an outfield assist.
He was around the plate, but his fastball lacked power and his slider lacked bite. You have to wonder, at this point, if he isn’t simply past it.
“Some things have gone wrong in most of his starts, and we’ve ended up losing games when he’s pitched, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pitch really well for us. We all believe that he will.” — Tito, doing his best Mr. Magoo impression. (courtesy mlb.com)