|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|
In a game that seemed to go on forever, the Red Sox finally emerged victorious in a game they had to win thanks to the most unlikely hero. Before all that, the Sox seemed to have the game in the bag.
Boston had a 7-3 lead entering the ninth inning before Jonathan Papelbon, in a non-save situation, allowed four runs (3 earned) on three hits and a walk to blow the lead. Some of the hits off Paps were bloops, some were hit hard, but perhaps the Sox biggest problem was home plate umpire Tony Randazzo.
Randazzo had a tight strike zone in the ninth and wasn’t calling anything close, sparking Jason Varitek and Papelbon to get in separate arguments with the ump. Varitek was tossed immediately, and a short time later, Papelbon was also tossed after Randazzo barked at him.
Bobby Jenks came in and got out of the inning. When the dust settled, the game was tied 7-7.
Jenks pitched another inning, finishing with 1.2 scoreless frames. Alfredo Aceves, who has been starting for a few weeks, came on in relief and allowed a run in the 11th. But, the Red Sox tied it 8-8 when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled home Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom half of the inning.
Aceves pitched three more scoreless innings before the Red Sox finally broke through in the 14th inning off Guillermo Moscoso. Carl Crawford (who went 4-7) doubled with two outs, and Moscoso walked Jed Lowrie (who was 0-6) to face J.D. Drew. Drew somehow hit a ball into the gap in right center to score Crawford and make winners out of the Red Sox.
Another good effort by Josh Beckett was spoiled. He allowed three runs in 6.0 innings, but is still just 4-2 on the year despite his gaudy stats (2.01 season ERA).
This will probably be the only time he earns this honor, but it’s well deserved. He went 2-7 with the game-winning hit.
OK, the ump sucked in the ninth and Dustin Pedroia had a key error, but Papelbon still blew the game and was not good at all.
W: Alfredo Aceves (3-1)
L: Guillermo Moscoso (2-1)