|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|
As the Red Sox playoff hopes are dwindling by the minute, Jacoby Ellsbury kept the Red sox head above water late Sunday night belting a three-run home run in the top of the 14th inning to down the Yankees 7-4.
John Lackey took the mound in the biggest game of his Red Sox career and allowed three runs in the first inning. It looked like it was going to be another bad night for the Red Sox, but Lackey settled down pitching six plus innings allowing four runs (three earned), five hits while walking three and striking out four.
The real story of the night was the Red Sox bullpen. Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront combined for eight scoreless innings while striking out seven Yankee batters.
As the Red Sox trailed 3-0, it was the bottom of the order that got the rallied started with Jed Lowrie, J.D. Drew, Marco Scutaro and Jason Varitek.
In a must-win game, the Red Sox battled all night maintaining a one-game lead in the Wild Card race with three games to play. The Sox will look to Beckett in Game 1 versus the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.