|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|
This is starting to get ridiculous again. The Red Sox stifled themselves and couldn’t get anything going in the 2-0 loss to Seattle. Things started off with a hint of that kind of night, when Ichiro Suzuki started the game by stealing second. John Lackey then threw the ball clear into center on a pickoff attempt, letting Suzuki take third. Thankfully, nothing came of it. Boston loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame with one out, but David Ortiz struck out, and J.D. Drew flew out.
Lackey’s first moment of weakness came in the 3rd, when, with one out, he gave up a walk, single and double to give up a lead. Next, Miguel Olivo grounded to third, but Kevin Youkilis looked the runner back to third twice, and was too late with the throw to first. Boston caught a break, though, because Olivo was called out. Milton Bradley, who had hit the double, was then ejected for arguing the call, and Boston escaped the inning without further harm (though Jacoby Ellsbury’s lead-off double in the bottom half of the inning was wasted).
Boston had another great chance in the 5th, with the bases loaded and no outs, but they seem to do their worst in that situation. Adrian Gonzalez then lined into a double play, with Ellsbury being called out at second, but replays clearing showing he was safe. Youkilis then popped out to finish the inning’s implosion.
Two lead-off singles in the 6th led to a methodical run when the Mariners eased the runners along the path. Boston stranded two men on in each of their next two chances, and from there just fell flat again; at that point, even Heathcliff Slocumb could’ve gotten the Mariners a save.
Okajima has been pretty much terrible for the last couple of years, but this time, he retired all five batters he faced.
Lackey really had to labor, despite six innings and two runs. And Stevie Wonder could’ve hit better with RISP.
W: Doug Fister (2-3)
L: John Lackey (2-3)
S: Brandon League (7)