|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|
The Red Sox entered Tuesday night’s game an incredible 14-3 in June as they continue to dig out and move on from their dreadful 2-10 start to the season. While fans (and probably the players) assume they’ll probably win every single game the rest of the way, that’s just no feasible. They will lose some, and Tuesday, they lost won that kind of hurts.
The Sox battered Padres starter Mat Latos, collecting 10 hits and four walks but only four runs in 5.2 innings, as the Padre did his best to avert disaster all game (he tossed a career-high 120 pitches). Latos left with the no-decision, but his bullpen cleaned house the rest of the way, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings in a 5-4 San Diego win.
Alfredo Aceves was on the hill, subbing for Josh Beckett (who has his own bout with “intestinal turmoil”), and did his best to keep the Sox in the game after a rough start. The righty allowed four runs combined in the 2nd in 3rd innings after a scoreless first, but held his ground in the 4th and 5th before exiting the game. In the end, Aceves was tagged with four runs on four hits and six walks over 5.0 innings.
Dan Wheeler tossed a scoreless 6th inning, but came out for the 7th and struggled, leading Terry Francona to call on Daniel Bard with the bases loaded and one out. At bat was former Red Sox prospect Anthony Rizzo, who grounded sharply to first, allowing Chase Headley to score the go-ahead run.
The Sox did all their scoring early on, knocking in single runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th innings, but had significant trouble making the most of their opportunities. The Sox hitters left 11 men on base, many of them in scoring position, and struck out 11 times overall, led by Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew (3 Ks each).
Youk did what he could, hitting an RBI double in the first as part of a 4-5 effort. He raised his average to .278 in the process.
He only struck out once, but he went 0-5 with five men left on base. Eek. But, hey! He stole a base after reaching on a fielder’s choice in the 5th.
W: Chad Qualls (4-3)
L: Dan Wheeler (0-1)