|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|
Coming off a rough four-game skid, which saw the Red Sox lose three straight to Tampa Bay, Boston was in need of a win. Maybe they were in need of a lot of runs. Maybe they were in need of a strong outing on the mound. All they needed was a win. They got all of the above.
Jon Lester won his third straight decision, tossing six innings while allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks. It was his final appearance before the All-Star Game, leaving him in line to possibly start for the American League on Tuesday night. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi has yet to announce a decision.
Like a team that seemed frustrated to the point of insane, the Red Sox exploded out of the gate, scoring the game’s first 14 runs to take a 13-0 lead just four innings in the game, and a 14-0 cushion in the sixth inning. Toronto responded with three runs, but I mean, come on…they had no shot at a comeback. Red Sox take it in a breeze, winning 14-3.
The Sox bats touched starter Ricky Romero for nine runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks in just 2.2 innings. The Sox scored two in the second on a Mike Cameron RBI single and two-run shot from Bill Hall. They collected seven more in the third inning to chase Romero, scoring all of them in literally the most annoying ways possible. Let’s anaylze that third inning:
Sure, they didn’t score on a wild pitch, hit by pitch, or even a balk (man, that would be really annoying), but the Sox did all that damage with no extra-base hits in the inning. That’s surprising since they jacked four home runs in all, with Hall’s second inning shot joining HRs by Youk, Beltre, and Mike Cameron in the fourth inning (Youk and Beltre went back-to-back).
Despite Cameron’s nagging abdominal injuries, Terry Francona left his centerfielder in the game due to his white-hot bat. Cameron continued his ways on Friday, going 3-4 with three RBI, three runs scored, and a walk. The honorable mention goes to Bill Hall, who also went 3-4 and finished with four RBI.
With the Red Sox up huge, Francona pulled Youk in favor of Shealy, who was making his Red Sox debut. The former super-prospect for the Rockies and Royals flamed out bigtime in the majors, and showed why on Friday night, going 0-3 with a strikeout. Maybe I shouldn’t pick on the youngster like that…oh wait, he’s already 30. Yikes…
W: Jon Lester (11-3)
L: Ricky Romero (6-6)