|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|
Hey, at least they’re better than 2-10!
OK, but 4-8 isn’t much to be proud of. The Red Sox fell four games under .500 again after dropping another game to the Rangers 6-3 on Tuesday.
Mike Napoli was the latest nemesis, blasting a go-ahead 2-run home run in the fourth inning and a back-breaking, bases-loaded double off the wall in the eighth. He finished 3-4 with 4 RBI.
Despite the trouble against Napoli, Beckett tossed his second straight strong outing. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in seven innings pitched. He struck out seven batters and had several swings-and-misses. While his fastball appears to have lost some zip (89-90), his curveball was extremely sharp and helped put away a few hitters.
The Red Sox led the game 2-0 at one point after Kevin Youkilis, batting below the fifth spot in the order for the first time since 2008, hit a two-run home run. Stick it Bobby V (you evil genius…maybe this “Youk isn’t as involved anymore” comment will work as motivation)!
Valentine did, though, make a questionable move in the eighth inning. Franklin Morales was struggling, having hit a batter with the bases loaded to give the Rangers a two-run lead. With righties ready in the pen, Valentine instead chose to have the lefty Morales face the lefty-killer Napoli (.291/.397/.552 career vs. LHP).
The result? Napoli ripped a double off the wall, scoring two.
The Red Sox, of course, threatened in the 9th. They plated one and had Jarrod Saltalamacchia at the plate as the tying run with just one out. But, his sharp liner was caught at first, where Brandon Snyder tagged the bag for the game-ending double play.