Earlier this year when we all sorta got the feeling that Dustin Pedroia would not return from his hampering knee injury, I suggested that a stop-gap solution might be to move Mookie Betts to second base (his original position) and have Dave Dombrowski go get an outfielder at the trade deadline. My rationale was that it’s easier to find a productive outfielder on the trade market than a second baseman. Dombo eventually went out and got Ian Kinsler to solidify the two bag, but when he got injured in early August, Betts did move to second base for six innings during a game. Betts is literally the best outfielder in the Majors, but when the Red Sox face off against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, the Red Sox lose the Designated Hitter. Alex Cora has already stated that J.D. Martinez will NOT be taking a seat during the three games in L.A., so there has to be some lineup shifting. Mookie has been taking balls at second base this past week. Is it for insurance, or will Kinsler ride the pine? And furthermore, with Manny “I'm Not Charley Hustle” Machado running the bases like Ty Cobb on a whiskey bender, do we want his knees/ankles/skull getting in the way of a guy who purposefully attempts to injure other players?
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Aron's face just says it all. If you want to know how the game went, watch the short sequence from just under 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter until 7:23 left in the 3rd. The sequence for the Celtics? A turnover and two missed 3 pointers that you or I could've made... They were that wide open. 9/40 from 3 won't cut it in today's game. 9 free throw attempts (Only 4 of which were after getting into the bonus with 9 minutes left in the 4th) won't get it done. A career high from Jonathan Isaac; who I might add I am still extremely high on, doesn't set you up for success. The complaints go on and on, this just wasn't a pretty game.
You have your statistical leaders, your emotional leaders and then you have your leader - in every sport, on every team. Sometimes those three are one in the same; sometimes an amalgamation of guys combine to fill each role as needed. Last season, before he underwent season-ending knee surgery, Kyrie Irving was the undisputed leader of the young Boston Celtics. He was mathematically the leading scorer - there's no arguing that. He was also the one guy that all the other players would lean on, when the game was on the line. But through the first few games of the 2018-19 season, things have looked a little different.
The Patriots 38-31 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday was a lot of things...but one thing it wasn't was pretty. New England turned the ball over three times, committed 7 penalties, allowed Chicago Bears' quarterback Mitch Trubisky to rush for 81 yards on 6 scrambles...one scramble covering 70 yards that resulted in an 8 yard touchdown run (see below), and the Chicago Bears were a half a yard away from connecting on a game-tying Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play of the game. But...a win is a win and Guy Boston Sports is here to break down THE GOOD, THE BAD, and yes...THE UGLY of the Patriots' Week 7 victory that has them sitting atop the AFC East standings and owning the second best record in the AFC, behind the 6-1 Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raptors beat the Celtics 113-101 in a matchup between what clearly looked like the 2 best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics held the lead for most of the first half, but after a slow first quarter the Raptors offense couldn't be stopped. The Raptors scored 95 of their points in the final 3 quarters, with their lowest scoring total from those quarters being 31 points. They took the lead 74-72 with 4:18 left in the 3rd quarter and Toronto held the lead for all but 11 seconds from that point on. The Celtics defense was not up to par for them, giving multiple free runs to the hoop and even leaving players completely uncovered at times during the game leading to easy layups. They even left Kawhi Leonard uncovered at one point, but were spared when Kawhi lost the ball out of bounds. These ugly blown assignments aren't typical of a Brad Stevens coached team and are a clear sign of just how much work the Celtics have left to do to improve this year.
DeMar DeRozan IS NOT better than Kawhi Leonard. When they were both last playing at full health in the 2016-17 season, it was clear and obvious that Kawhi Leonard was the better player. Leonard is a not only a better shooter, but is also probably the best perimeter defender the NBA has seen in the 21st century whereas some may even go as far as to call DeRozan a liability on that end of the floor. This article is not an article saying DeMar DeRozan is better than Kawhi Leonard, that would be foolish. But against one team, perhaps the most important team the Raptors will play, DeMar DeRozan has played better than Kawhi.
The Red Sox walked into Minute Maid Park, roughed up the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros, stole their lunch money, gave them a wedgie, and stuffed them into their lockers. This series had some weird drama from the get go, with the Astros being accused of attempting to steal signs from the Sox. I guess Boston took exception to this, because the Sox always seemed to push the dagger in further just when the Astros seemed to be getting some life. Boston got contributions from some unlikely heroes in this series where they outscored the Astros 29-21. Besides some, ahem, interesting moments from closer Craig Kimbrel, the Sox kept their foot on the gas pedal both offensively and defensively. The much maligned bullpen put on their big boy pants, as Ryan Brasier solidified the middle to late innings with 4.2 scoreless innings. As we look forward to Tuesday night, here are your top five defining moments of the ALCS. #DoDamage!
The Red Sox won the pennant! How great do those words sound? Remember when the Red Sox were considered little more than a speedbump in the way of the Yankees and then the Astros? When the postseason started, the national media, a majority of the Boston media, and even a large percentage of Red Sox Nation thought the team had no chance against the fearsome Yankees. (I'll admit that after game two of the Yankees series, I thought the Sox were finished. It seems foolish now to look back at a series tied 1-1 and think that, but I certainly wasn't the only one. I'll own it.). After winning two games at Yankee Stadium to close out the ALDS, everyone in national sports media picked Houston to steamroll the Sox in the ALCS. I thought the Sox would win the series but that it would go six or seven games. After dropping the opener at home I ripped the Sox for looking overwhelmed and for whining about the umpiring all night. When they bounced back to win game two and tie the series, I thought it was going to be a dogfight to the end. I stated repeatedly on here and on Twitter that my hope was for them to win two of the next three in Houston in order to come back to Boston up 3-2. The Sox responded by winning games three and four to go up 3-1. I then speculated that game five was one Alex Cora was willing to lose if things didn't shake out the way he wanted. This was for a few reasons: David Price was pitching on three days rest (and we're all well aware of his postseason struggles), the Astros had Justin Verlander starting, and the Sox had the buffer of two more games at home to close it out. I assumed Cora would leave Price in the game for five or six innings regardless of how well he pitched in order to eat up some innings and give the already taxed bullpen some rest. As I settled in for the first pitch I was curious to see which, if any, of my predictions would hold true.