The word “gutsy” was thrown around alot last, describing the effort of Derek Lowe, who pitched seven and 1/3 innings in leading the Red Sox to a 4-3 win, capping of a three game sweep of the Angels. David Heuschkel looks at the Sox hopping on for a night on the Lowe Rider. Bob Hohler looks at the Sox winning their ninth in a row, despite stranding 14 runners. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox kept the heat on the Angels, putting more distance between themselves and their Wild Card rival. Steven Krasner also looks at the Sox finishing off their improbable three game sweep of the powerful Angels. Garry Brown calls it a “true grit” performance by Lowe last night. David Borges says it was a little hard to know what to expect last night as Lowe and Bartolo Colon have been mirror images of each other this year in every way except appearance. Joe Haggerty says nine is fine for the Red Sox. Lenny Megliola says the Sox continue to get the job done any way that it takes, and looks at their scary numbers from the last 15 games. Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a look at the performance of Derek, noting that his outing was impressive because he had to work for every out he got against the dangerous lineup, and despite getting hit early, he stayed cool. Dan Shaughnessy tries to figure a name for this club, like the Impossible Dream, or Morgan Magic. He’s settled on No More Nomars. Color me unimpressed.
Andy Nesbitt says that Lowe is peaking at exactly the right time for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman has the disturbing news of the injury to David Ortiz, much of which is unknown at this time, it could keep him out from 2 days to 2 weeks. He hurt it on Sunday after a collision at home plate after being sent by third base coach Dale Sveum. Terry Francona defends Sveum in this instance, saying Ortiz took too wide a turn rounding third. Jeff Horrigan also has a sidebar on the Ortiz injury. Alex Speier looks at the candidates for Sox MVP and says even Mark Bellhorn should be considered. Silverman has a look at Dave Roberts, atoning for a earlier error in the field. Nesbitt has a quick look at the Texas Rangers, who invade Fenway for the weekend. Jeff Sullivan looks at Trot Nixon, arriving in Pawtucket for a rehab assignment. Hohler’s notebook has more on the injury to Ortiz. Krasner’s notebook also looks at Ortiz, as does Heuschkel’s notebook and Borges’ notebook. Brown’s notebook has Jason Varitek defending Nomar. Horrigan’s notebook has Orlando Cabrera a little concerned about the kidnapping of Ugueth Urbina’s mother in his native South America.
You could call last night’s affair at Foxboro a Patriots preseason game, but those weren’t the Patriots on the field. It was the Patriots backups. Coach Bill Belichick took no chances last night and let the reserves carry the entire load. Michael Felger says the decision by Belichick was likely accepted, albeit grudgingly by the starters, but the coach wanted to take a long look at fringe players. Nick Cafardo plays it straight today, reporting on what happened on the field, and noting that Colts coach Tony Dungy got nothing if he was scouting this one. Tom Curran says this one was as boring as watching paint grow. Now that’s boring. Mike Reiss says the focus for the Patriots is already on the Colts. Chris Kennedy says there was nothing compelling about last night’s game. Alan Greenberg says Rohan Davey likely threw away his chance at the backup quarterback spot last night. Michael Parente also has a recap of whatever that was at Foxboro last night.
Now comes the misplaced indignation and fire and brimstone section of the links. Kevin Mannix, sensing himself further slipping into irrelevancy decides that going the Borges route is the way to get some attention. His biggest beef is that paying fans never got to see the starters, and he goes after Bill Belichick. This is a classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. If Belichick had played his starters and any of them had gotten hurt, Mannix would be all over the coach. Which starters should he have played Kevin? Also, in the final preseason game it is generally accepted that the starters play maybe one series. So playing the starters one series would’ve completely made the high priced tickets worth it? I don’t think so. The original Ron Borges also has a piece on this topic, but towards the end he also says the Jaguars should be embarrassed for having their starters get shutout in the first half by the Patriots backups. Jim Donaldson’s column is a mess, I have no idea what he is trying to say. Jim Fennell says we should just trust Belichick to know what he is doing.
Christopher Price looks at the preseason, now in the rear view mirror. Speaking of rear view, Scott A Benson has the Patriots Rear View edition for last night’s game. Rich Thompson, Adam Kilgore and Kevin McNamara look at a so-so performance for Rohan Davey. Lenny Megliola thinks Doug Flutie could be the Patriots backup QB if he is released by the Chargers. Ron Indrisano looks at Patrick Pass.
Cafardo’s notebook looks at Ty Law getting his workout bonus. Felger’s notebook and Reiss’ notebook look at Kevin Faulk missing last night’s game and that he is back in Louisiana, fueling speculation about an injury. Curran’s notebook looks at Mike Cloud stepping into the void with 93 yards last night. Kennedy’s notebook looks at Ty Warren achieving his goal of knowing all the positions on the defensive line.
Bill Griffith looks at Red Sox ratings numbers and a few other items. Jim Baker hands out some awards for NBC’s Olympic coverage. Andrew Neff looks at a NESN producer striking out on his own. Griffith also took a field trip to ESPN and saw that Red Sox/Yankees permeates the atmosphere there.
UPN38 has Red Sox/Rangers at 7:00.