Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the opposition and move on. Last might the Red Sox were shut out on a terrific performance by Ted Lilly. The game stories are served up by Kevin Paul DupontJeff HorriganSteven KrasnerDavid Heuschkel and David Borges. Lilly’s performance last night showed the promise that so many have seen in the lefthander, but which has not always be realized on the mound. Gordon Edes takes a look at the pitcher and inconsistency that has plagued his career thus far. Michael Silverman looks at Lilly outdueling Pedro last night. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the trade of Nomar has made the Red Sox a better team, and as Johnny Damon says…in every way. Callahan goes on to say:

It seems silly to give Epstein so much credit for a move that makes so much sense, but this deal would not have been made three years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago. Probably not 20 or 30 or 50 years ago, either. It was almost an institutional thing. The stodgy old men in the Sox' front office didn't even consider trading their superstars - even if the situation begged for it - because they once sent a certain pug-nosed slugger to the Bronx and things have been a little uneven around here since. So they refused to pull the trigger and watched as Clemens walked, Mo Vaughn walked, Wade Boggs walked. The Sox had little or nothing to show in return, but at least the little men in the big offices didn't get burned in effigy.

Stan Grossfeld has a feature on a day in the life of Manny Ramirez. An entertaining read, and a glimpse of Manny that many have not seen before. Jon Couture looks at the hopes raised by the Red Sox six game winning streak. Jeff Sullivan has a number of baseball related thoughts, most prominent of which is his assertion that this isn’t the year for the Red Sox. Garry Brown says the Sox can never win when they have a great 1-2 punch at the plate. Gordon Edes looks at Dave Roberts, waiting for his chance to contribute. Michael Silverman looks at Doug Mirabelli, your starting catcher the new few nights while Jason Varitek serves his suspension. The notebooks are all about Varitek dropping his appeal. Dupont’s notebook doesn’t have much else, Horrigan’s notebook has the Sox providing encouragement to the Rhode Island Little League squad, Krasner’s notebook has a couple injury updates. Heuschkel’s notebook has some Pedro notes. Borges’ notebook looks at the Sox options at the backup catcher spot with Mirabelli starting.

Michael Felger says that what the Patriots went through Saturday night should just serve as a taste of things to come for the Patriots, who are going to play every game this season with a target on their backs. Alan Greenberg has a look at wide receiver/kick returner hopeful Michael Jennings, who has impressed some in camp, and hopes to at least turn it into a practice squad gig. Adam Kilgore has a look at Ted Johnson, still contributing and hoping to be in New England for some time to come. Tom Curran had a Patriots chat on ProJo.com last night. Felger’s notebook looks at the progress of Benjamin Watson.

From yesterday, Eric McHugh says the nose tackles have been a huge disappointment thus far. Chris Kennedy said the Patriots looked like chumps in Cincinnati. Glen Farley said the Patriots were “thoroughly humiliated by a franchise that has been an NFL version of the Los Angeles Clippers.” Hector Longo finds a lot of things to pick at from the loss. McHugh’s notebook says Rosevelt Colvin was the only bright spot from Saturday.

John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at the sports advertising agency of Duffy & Shanley and some Olympic items. Christopher Price says that even though athletes may deny it, they do read the papers and listen and watch sports programming.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00.

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