|Are the Patriots Still Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders Without TE Rob Gronkowski?||Notes and Observations Week 14: Patriots Mount Another Improbable Comeback; Beat Browns 27-26||Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots Stink but Exciting; Poor Gronk||Patriots Lose Gronk But Complete Miraculous Comeback to Beat Browns, 27-26|
With the Celtics and Bruins moving on to the second round of the playoffs, the Red Sox have hit the sports back burner in Boston, for now. In case you didn’t notice, the Red Sox have won seven of nine overall. They earned their first series sweep of the season. They’re back at .500.
No longer the constant focus of attention, the Red Sox officially made their climb back from a 4-9 start to improve to 11-11 after defeating the Blue Jays for the third straight day, 2-0.
Jon Lester was magnificent for the Sox in earning his first win. He allowed just one hit and two walks in seven innings with 11 strikeouts in by far his best outing of the season.
“This was a great series for us,” Lester said (AP Quote).
Damn right, Jon. The Red Sox got their desperately-needed and spirit-lifting sweep thanks first to their bats (in a 13-12 win on Monday), and second to their starting pitching. An Achilles heel all season, the starters were excellent the last two days, with Clay Buchholz shutting down the Jays over eight innings on Tuesday, and Lester doing the honors with seven dominant innings on Wednesday.
The Red Sox got their first run when Dustin Pedroia drove in Darnell McDonald with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The team scored one run in the seventh when McDonald singled home Adrian Beltre. McDonald, who started in CF, finished 2-3 with an RBI and a run.
“He’s done a good job,” Francona said of McDonald (AP Quote). “He’s sitting down there in the nine hole but he’s got big hits. He’s played a pretty good center field. I think he’s excited about his opportunity and he’s looking to make the most of it.”
He deserves a second recognition. Lester was just awesome, and it looks like he shook off the early-season jitters.
No one really played poorly, but Drew and Martinez each finished 0-4 with a strikeout, so I’m picking on them.
W: Jon Lester (1-2)
L: Brett Cecil (1-1)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (7)