A couple more two home run, five RBI performances, Blake, and we can escape from New York without giving the Yankees the satisfaction of their 10,000th win - together. (Boston Globe)

Lord knows it’s been months since I’ve asked anything of the 2015 Boston Red Sox. Mired in last place and saddled with two free agent splashes that never made it out of the shallow end, what was there to ask?

But with only a few games left, I do have one final request as a Red Sox fan dying a death of a thousand misplayed Hanley Ramirez fly balls.

Please, please don’t give the New York Yankees the pleasure of beating us for their 10,000th win in franchise history. Continue reading Can the Red Sox Avoid Being the Victim of the Yankees 10,000th Win? Please? »

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When undrafted rookie free agent center David Andrews entered training camp in late July, the expectation was that he would be backing up starter Bryan Stork for this season and beyond with the possibility of getting reps at guard. Stork’s concussion in August was followed by his being placed on short term injured reserve, meaning he will not be back until week nine. This thrust Andrews into the spotlight.

The 6’2″ University of Georgia product has been the only Patriots player to play every possible snap through the first three games of the season. More importantly, he has been a key part of an offensive line that has kept Tom Brady mostly clean. The protection issues from the beginning of the 2014 season have not resurfaced, even with more than one rookie along the offensive line.

Andrews is very athletic, which helps him in pass and run blocking. He is also fundamentally sound, a quality necessary if the Patriots are to play him. He did not allow a sack in his final two seasons at Georgia and has continued that trend into his NFL career. He performed admirably against a dominant Bills defensive line and followed that up with another strong outing against Jacksonville.

It is unlikely that Andrews will supplant Stork as the starter once Stork is healthy, but New England has to be happy with what they have seen. They are now assured of having strong depth at center for at least the rest of this year and probably longer. Andrews, for his part, is increasingly making harder for Patriots coaches to sit him when week nine arrives.

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Josh McDaniels doesn't leave Tom Brady hanging this time as he congratulates him after throwing his 400th career touchdown pass. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

For most of the other 31 teams in the league this could easily have been a trap game. The Patriots have been rolling offensively to start the year and the Jaguars just are not on the same level as New England. With the bye week following this game it could have been easy for the Patriots to overlook their opponent and get tripped up. But unlike the Jets who crashed back down to Earth in their game against the Eagles, the Patriots showed everyone that they are taking no prisoners this season. Belichick made sure that his team was ready for 60 minutes of football and that’s exactly what the players gave him on Sunday. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 3: Patriots Stomp Out the Jaguars 51-17 As They Head Into the Bye Week »

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  1. Patriots Misc

* We say it almost every week – appreciate every Tom Brady start – what a treat!

* How long before the “running it up” talk starts (funny thing is they could have easily scored 70 if more efficient in Red Zone)

* TV Analyst Rich Gannon kept his streak going at Foxboro of whining about the Tuck Rule

* Gannon called Belichick “one of the best in the league.” I think he meant – maybe the greatest team coach in sport’s history

* Speaking of Belichick and the staff – is there anything more refreshing than watching millionaire players attentively and respectively listening to every word their coaches are saying

* The two fans with the D and the Fence got some air time at the game – now they go back to their cellar

* Hmm no fumbles again – how does that happen with all the air in the ball?

* Keep the Revenge Tour going

Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten – Brady Treat, Sandlot and Rich Hill »

Is it time to trust Cam newton again?

Two weeks off the table and the bye weeks are nearly upon us, but Week 3 is the final full week until later in the season. So, make sure to get all your superstars in there and make sure to bench players who have bad matchups before you have to play your bench players due to bye-week replacements. Here are some of my recommendations:

Start ‘Em

Cam Newton (vs. New Orleans): The Saints’ defense have the third-worst passer rating against QBs and Newton put up a huge game in Week 14 last year with three passing touchdowns and a rushing score. If you are planning to play Newton based on matchups, then this is one of those times to put him in your lineup. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 3 »

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Craig Breslow (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Whenever the Red Sox decided to go with a “bullpen game” on Saturday afternoon against the Orioles at Fenway Park, they also likely expected some kind of football score to be the final outcome. Red Sox hitters held up their end of that arrangement in scoring eight runs in the contest, but surprisingly seven Red Sox relievers combined to shut out the O’s for the second straight contest. Call it the shock of the century. The bullpen has been the worst part of the 2015 Red Sox, yet still managed to shut out a lineup that included Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters.

This is a bullpen that ranks among the worst in all of baseball:

26th in K/9: 7.76

16th in BB/9: 3.28

28th in Groundball rate: 41.6%

27th in Average Against: .262

26th in ERA: 4.35

30th (dead last) in FIP: 4.59

28th in xFIP: 4.33


Against an offense that ranks among the most powerful in the game:

4th in Homeruns: 204

9th in RBI: 648

6th in Slugging: .418

4th in Isolated Power: .168


It is also notable that veteran Craig Breslow made his first career start after 522 career relief appearances, and also set a new career high with four Innings Pitched. Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes, Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne, Noe Ramirez, and Jonathan Aro covered the remaining five innings, allowing only three hits and three walks to Orioles sluggers. We cannot stress enough how unusual this combined performance was, considering the struggles Red Sox relievers have endured all season long. This is not to suggest that yesterday’s game stands as a huge turning point in the bullpen’s season, only that they came together when needed most and delivered as solid a performance as could be expected, all while their most effective reliever (Koji Uehara) was completely unavailable. In a season that has been dominated by failure and underperformance, this was a fun, refreshing way to be pleasantly surprised.


All stats courtesy of Fangraphs

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The Amazing Rich Hill

September 26, 2015 at 11:34am in Featured, Opinion, Red Sox, Top Story
Rich Hill (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Friday night’s 7-0 win over the Orioles featured a dominant performance from a Red Sox starting pitcher, the likes of which the team is unaccustomed to in 2015. Rich Hill was dealing at Fenway Park, tossing a two-hit shutout with a walk and ten strikeouts. Hill seemed nowhere near the Red Sox radar even a month ago, but has burst onto the scene in September with three dominant starts, providing the Red Sox with a short-term ace on the month. While that kind of production is unlikely to be sustained over the course of an entire season, Hill has shown a capability to be effective in the Major Leagues (again), and might be earning himself a chance to make the Red Sox in 2016.

Continue reading The Amazing Rich Hill »

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