From the very first pitch last night it seemed that the Red Sox were going to need some help to secure the wild card playoff berth. Clay Buchholz got shelled as the Toronto Blue Jays were once again launching home runs all over Fenway Park. The Red Sox made it tight close, and had the winning run on base in the ninth, but couldn’t get it done, losing to the Jays 8-7.
That meant a late night for Red Sox players and media, who remained at the ballpark to await the results of the Rangers/Angels game out west. The Angels defeated the Rangers, eliminating them from the playoff hunt, and giving the wild card to the Red Sox.
John Tomase has the Red Sox happy to be in the playoffs, regardless of how they got there. Amalie Benjamin says that the wait into the late hours was worth it for the Sox. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox late rally falling short last night. Joe McDonald has the Red Sox clinching the playoff berth while most of us were sleeping. Bill Ballou notes that not all the Red Sox were around for the clinching party. Amy K. Nelson has the Red Sox finally getting something to celebrate.
Michael Silverman has the Red Sox keeping their clubhouse party private. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox don’t need to apologize for their celebration last night. Ron Chimelis has the Red Sox locker room subdued following their loss to Toronto. Jon Couture is a little confused by these Red Sox. Mike Fine has the Red Sox coming in the back door to the postseason. Jim Fenton has the Sox wrapping up their sixth trip to the postseason in seven seasons.
Michael Whitmer says that Buchholz didn’t have it right from the start last night. Silverman says we shouldn’t be worried about this late season slide that the Red Sox have been on. Kevin McNamara has last night’s comeback falling just a little short.
McDonald notes that with six playoff appearances in seven years, this is a golden era for the Red Sox. Joe Haggerty says that Beckett and Lester are on track for their playoff starts. Silverman has Casey Kelly and the Red Sox with a decision to make about his future. Brian MacPherson notes that Manny Delcarmen only struggles when given a clean inning. When inheriting runners, he’s still the best reliever in the bullpen. Bill Burt says Aaron Hill is the best second baseman in baseball.
Tomase’s notebook has Josh Beckett getting three partial cortisone shots in his back, but expecting to make his start on Saturday. Benjamin’s notebook has Beckett optimistic about his next start and beyond. Goldberg’s notebook has Beckett’s back feeling better already. The Projo Red Sox journal has more on Beckett. Ballou’s notebook has Kelly in the park last night. Fenton’s notebook has Buchholz getting roughed up last night.
On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson awards the PD Game Ball to the line of scrimmage and has himself Take a Lap after getting caught up in the Joey Galloway frustration. Brandon Rosenau has his 50th Anniversary Minute on the 1976 Patriots.
Kerry Byrne says that Patriots fans need to temper their expectations for this team.
Ian R. Rapoport has the Patriots reviewing the loss to the Jets in planning for the Ravens. Glen Farley has Kelley Washington becoming a productive receiver with the Ravens. Mike Reiss offers up Ten quick-hit thoughts on the Ravens.
Without mentioning it, Jim Donaldson refutes the ridiculous CBSSports.com column that claimed Randy Moss has been “dogging it” with the Patriots. Mark Farinella isn’t impressed with Gary Tanguay’s penchant for “storyline” radio on WBZ-FM.
The Globe notebook says that the Patriots are going to see a lot of familiar schemes this Sunday. Rapoport’s notebook has a look at the Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out. The Projo Patriots journal has the Patriots bringing in Terdell Sands.
The Bruins start their regular season tomorrow night with the Capitals coming into town.
Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins now have something unfamiliar to deal with: expectations. Steve Conroy has a mini-feature on defenseman Derek Morris, who is ready to play for a winner. Mike McMahon says that the Bruins will be just fine without Phil Kessel. Joe Haggerty previews the forwards. Joe Donahue runs down the Bruins roster.
Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins will strive to play with a shutdown mentality on defense. McMahon has David Krejci eying a career season. Mike Loftus has the Bruins expecting a big season from Patrice Bergeron.
The Globe notebookhas Chuck Kobasew’s relentless style on the ice resonating with his teammates. Rich Thompson’s notebook has Patrice Bergeron earning praise from Mark Recchi. Loftus’ notebook looks at role players who will need to step up for the Bruins.
Frank Dell’Apa has Kevin Garnett going full speed at practice yesterday, participating in about 75% of the action. Mark Murphy notes that KG wasn’t happy at not being allowed in on the other 25% of practice.
Robert Lee has Rajon Rondo on a mission this season. Gary Washburn has Rondo trying to embrace a low-key, quiet role off the court this season. Bill Doyle says that Rasheed Wallace doesn’t expect to change his style with the officials.
Murphy’s notebook has Tony Allen way down on the depth chart as he recovers from ankle tendon surgery. Julian Benbow has the second unit looking impressive right off the bat. Lee’s Celtics journal has KG and Doc Rivers enjoying having training camp in Newport.