|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|
Losers of eight of their last 11 games heading into Monday night, the Red Sox needed someone to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the wildly inconsistent Daisuke Matsuzaka was on the hill. Fortunately, my previous statement was later proven to be inaccurate, as Dice-K reversed Boston’s fortunes, leading the Sox to a 2-1 victory on Monday night.
Dice-K went 6.2 innings and allowed just one run on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts to lower his season ERA to 4.29, which is pretty damn good for a fifth starter. His only blemish came in the third inning when he yielded a solo HR to Oakland’s Rajai Davis.
The Red Sox countered the Oakland home run by scoring twice the next half inning. First, David Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to score Eric Patterson (who tripled) to tie the game. Then, Adrian Beltre gave the Sox the lead with one swing of the bat off Ben Sheets, who pitched pretty well. Sheets allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks in 6.2 innings to take the tough loss.
Beltre was the only Sox starter with a multi-hit game, as he finished 3-4 with with the go-ahead HR in the fourth inning that proved to be the game-winner.
I know I’m nitpicking, but McDonald finished 0-4 with a strikeout in the Sox triumph.
W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3)
L: Ben Sheets (4-9)