For much of the afternoon, the Red Sox appeared lifeless, and Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled through six innings, giving up four runs to the lowly Orioles in that span. In the later innings, the Red Sox came alive, eventually scoring the winning run on a Jacoby Ellsbury bunt that was mishandled, allowing Alex Cora to score from third base and a 5-4 victory for the Red Sox.
Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox winning in quite a different manner than they did the previous night. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox sleepwalking for much of the afternoon before the winning rallies. Mark Daniels notes that yesterday was just another episode of the Dustin Pedroia show at Fenway. Joe Haggerty has the Sox finally rallying after doing “jack-squat” against Orioles starter Lance Cormier. Joe McDonald points out that “solid, heads-up and fundamental play in the field” led to this win for Boston. Paul Doyle has the Sox grabbing their first bunt-off win of the season. Bob Stern has normalcy returning over the last three innings for the Red Sox. Garry Brown says that small ball was a hit for the Sox in their rally.
Alex Speier has the Red Sox lineup coming together nicely in this run. Bill Burt says that Jason Bay has proved to be Manny Ramirez, but without the drama. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox Playoff Express is chugging along at full steam now. Sean McAdam says that good teams find a way to steal wins as the Red Sox did yesterday. Paul Jarvey looks at another MVP effort from Pedroia yesterday. Benjamin has a quick note on the 455th consecutive sold-out game at Fenway Park. Silverman has Dice-K OK with the no-decision yesterday.
Stan Grossfeld has a feature on a young dad who promised to take his family to Fenway Park, but was killed before he had a chance to do it. Red Sox Nation stepped in after that, to make the family’s dreams come true.
Benjamin’s notebook has Mark Kotsay getting a crack at first base yesterday. Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona talking about the sellout streak. The ProJo notebook has more on the streak. Doyle’s notebook has Matsuzaka escaping with a no-decision yesterday thanks to the rally. Brown’s notebook has more on the at the sellouts. Jarvey’s notebook examines the spark that the sellout crowds give the Red Sox. Speier’s notebook looks at Jacoby Ellsbury’s play in the field.
The NFL season kicks off tonight, and there are plenty of season previews in the papers this morning.
On Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp is a little concerned with what he saw from the Patriots in the preseason. In the Metro, I note that it is pretty much Super Bowl or bust this season for the Patriots, and based on what we’ve seen, they’ve got some work to do.
Gerry Callahan says that losing the Super Bowl in the fluke manner that the Patriots did gives the team motivation to set things right this season. Mike Reiss talks to Mike Holmgren about the impact of losing a Super Bowl. Mark Farinella has the Patriots ready to get started and play some ball for real. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots are ready to show that they still have it. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots opening day opponent, the Chiefs, knowing they’ve got quite a task in front of them.
Christopher L. Gasper looks at how the Patriots pretty much stood pat this offseason, bringing back most of the same squad that went 18-1 last season. Gasper notes that the addition of Dom Capers was perhaps the largest offseason acquisition for the team. Stephen Harris looks at a promising rookie crop for the Patriots. Douglas Flynn says that the receivers should all get plenty of opportunities to catch passes from Brady this season.
Ugh. Dan Shaughnessy. Ugh.
Jim Donaldson says Bill Belichick isn’t friendly with the media. Ugh.
John Tomase says that the team won’t let the disappointment of how last season ended impact them this year. Gasper says that the temptation to look back won’t be a problem for these Patriots. Steve Buckley says that the Patriots will be awesome this season. Yes, he wrote that.
Reiss says that the Giants all-out pressure scheme from the Super Bowl won’t be easily duplicated by opponents this season. Karen Guregian asserts that the Patriots will have to prepare to deal with teams that will try to duplicate what the Giants did. The Hartford Courant dropped Patriots coverage this season, but they have Paul Doyle do a Patriots Preview today.
Harris looks at how the Patriots will be leaning on their Defensive line this season. He also says that a dab of Mayo has freshened up the linebacker position. He also has Deltha O’Neal happy to be on board with the cornerbacks. Mark Farinella has O’Neal shocked by his release from the Bengals, but happy to be with the Patriots. David Brown has more on the Patriots newest cornerback.
Guregian says that we may not see the same fireworks on offense this season, as last year will be tough to top. She also says that Tom Brady is the complete package as a quarterback. She also has Brady’s dad shooting down reports that his son has a broken foot. Rich Garven says that broken or not, Brady’s foot will be an issue this season.
The Globe notebook has Tom Brady Sr disputing a John Dennis report that the Patriots quarterback has a cracked bone in his foot. Guregian’s notebook has Brandon Meriweather set to go for opening day. Garven’s notebook has O’Neal hitting the books in his first days with the team. Flynn’s notebook has more on the return of Meriweather. Robert Lee’s notebook also looks at the second year safety.
Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins signing veteran forward Stephane Yelle.