|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|
On another scorching hot day in Texas, the Red Sox needed a win to keep pace in the playoff race, but a win is hard to come by lately against Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson, wh0 entered the game at 10-5 with a 3.30 ERA and .216 opponents batting average. On the mound for the Red Sox was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who hadn’t lost a game since June 30. As they say, something had to give.
The Red Sox gave in.
Jed Lowrie’s absence (he was out again with heat exhaustion) was a microcosm of the Red Sox woes at the plate on Sunday. They seemed like a team on their last gasp, but even through the thick, humid air, the Red Sox are still breathing…but barely.
Matsuzaka left the game in the seventh inning having only allowed two runs at that point, going pitch for pitch with Wilson. The Texas starter, though, was even better, as he allowed just one run over 7.2 innings with eight strikeouts. When Manny Delcarmen came in for Dice-K, there was no room for error given the way that Wilson was pitching. Delcarmen let his team down again though, as he allowed a three-run shot to Michael Young that gave Texas a 5-0 lead at the time.
The resilient Red Sox battled back, scoring three times in the eighth inning on a Marco Scutaro RBI double and a two-run homer from Darnell McDonald. It was too little, too late however, as Texas grabbed two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and eventually won 7-3.
For what it’s worth, McDonald has had a large hand in helping to save the Red Sox season, given that he has filled in at all three outfield spots, played plus defense, and given the lineup a little pop. He finished 2-4 on Sunday with a home run while the Sox continue to play without Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron.
The Red Sox were trailing 2-0 in the seventh inning, and if Delcarmen did his job, they could have possibly carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth. We’ll never know that for sure, because Delcarmen allowed a backbreaking three-run shot to Michael Young to blow a tight game open.
W: C.J. Wilson (11-5)
L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-5)