I watched half of the Red Sox game, half of the Patriots Game, and I thought I’d spend half of my time writing about each. First off the Red Sox. At the moment I write this, they’re beating the Blue Jays 7-1. Jon Lester is starting to really round into shape this season. He pitched extraordinarily well, retiring ten Blue Jays in a row at one point. But more than that, he was able to pitch in situations when the pressure was on. In the first inning, he loaded the bases with none out. He didn’t panic however, inducing a pretty standard double play to limit the damage to just the one run. Later on, when he gave up a single in the sixth, he once again buckled down and got the batter to ground into a nice easy double play. With every start by him I gain more confidence that he can handle the pressure of the postseason (which I still think we’ll make), go up against the tough pitchers he will have to face, and rise to the occassion.
Offensively, the Sox looked great. When J.D. Drew is hitting, it just adds a whole new dimension to our offense and makes the lineup so much deeper and dangerous. Mike Lowell is also showing little signs of age, and Victor Martinez has definitely stepped into the limelight of the Boston sports scene. He has been unbelievable. The best part is how comfortable he looks. The move from Cleveland to Boston seems to have effected him very little. And he can just flat out hit better than Varitek can. He is still getting on the same page with his pitchers, but he is definitely competent at calling games. I love having his bat in the lineup and hope he can do as much damage in the postseason as he’s done so far.
The Pats are a little harder to judge because they took all of their good players out after about a quarter. But I was very impressed with the defense while they were on the field. They looked good stopping the run and were able to get good pressure on the Bengals’ quarterback. I know the defense seemed a little slow last year, and I think the front office did a good job drafting and choosing free agents that enabled their defense to speed up a little bit.
Offensively, they were kind of a mixed bag. I was kinda intrigued by Fred Taylor, who I’ve always liked as a running back. I thought he looked great, penetrating the front line well and gaining positive yardage with every carry. His partner in crime, Laurence Maroney, continues to disappoint me. I was so impressed with his speed when he first came onto the scene, but a combination of injury and an inability to run vertically has left him as kind of an underachiever. Meanwhile, Brady didn’t throw enough for me to really get a feel for him. And his backups all are just that: backups. All in all, I’m of course excited for the start of football, but it’s too soon to tell if the team will be any good. All I know is the fall is coming, and that means more Boston sports!