Brady still unhappy with lackluster victory

969171.jpg

Brady still unhappy with lackluster victory

A day after saying the Patriots "didn't compete" and were "lucky to win" in a 23-16 victory in Jacksonville, it was more of the same from quarterback Tom Brady in his weekly appearance on the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI radio in Boston.

"We've got to do a better job," Brady said. "We've got some pretty important weeks of football ahead, and that's when we really need to play our best. We just came out and got behind early, something you never really want to do on the road, and didn't really do too much to help our cause. That started really from the beginning of the game all the way to the end of the game. I wish we would have played better. We didn't."

Brady wasn't backing away from his pointed postgame comments.

"The self-inflicted errors, that's the biggest problem," Brady said. "There was just a few too many times yesterday that we could've done something better that we just didn't really handle as well as we're capable of."

After his second consecutive two-interception game, Brady put some of the blame on himself.

"Turnovers hurt," he said. "We had two turnovers in the first quarter Sunday. When we don't turn the ball over, we're pretty good. We've got to do a better job protecting the football and certainly I've got to do a better job protecting the football."

Brady took some hard hits for the second week in a row and sat out a day of practice last week. Still, he said it's nothing more than the normal bumps and bruises of a long season.

"That's part of football, and that's part of playing this long," he said. "Nineteen weeks we play, so you have those little bumps, but I'll be fine."

Looking ahead to the regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium against the Dolphins on Sunday -- a game that has been moved to a 4:25 p.m. start -- the Patriots (11-4) still have a shot at the top two seeds in the AFC, depending on how they, the Broncos (12-3) and the Texans (12-3) do.

Brady said he's not focused on playoff positioning.

"I don't really care who we play," Brady said. "I would just like to go out there and play our best football here next week and beyond. I don't care who we play or where we play or when we play or the time or the place or the opponent. It's about us. We've lost four games this year. We were pretty capable of winning all four of those games. If it wasn't for some of our own mistakes that we made, we could have."

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

red_sox_david_price_092716.jpg

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

NEW YORK -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees.

 

* As the postseason gets closer, David Price needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Price gave up three homers Tuesday night -- a two-run shoot to rookie sensation Gary Sanchez in the first; a solo shot to Didi Gregorius in the sixth; and another two-run belt in the seventh to Tyler Austin.

That's six homers in the last three outings and 29 for the season. It's also the sixth time this season that he's given up multiple homers in the same start, with the three on Tuesday representing a season-high.

Prior to this year, Price had never allowed more than 25 homers in a season. Last season, splitting time between the cavernous Comerica Park in Detroit and the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, he yielded just 17.

Worse, twice Tuesday the homers came at inauspicious times. In the sixth, the Sox had just closed to within one at 3-2; in the seventh, the Sox had worked t tie the game at 4-4.

 

* For all of the offensive brilliance shown by Mookie Betts, it's easy to forget how good he's been in right field.

Anyone who plays in the same outfield with Jackie Bradley Jr. runs the risk of having his defensive play overshadowed and that's likely the case with Betts.

He's played a Gold Glove-caliber right field, showing good range and instincts -- especially for someone who never played the outfield professionally until about 2 1/2 years ago.

And while Bradley has the stronger arm, Betts has 14 assists, including one Tuesday night.

That took place on a ball in which Betts was initially fooled. With one on, Chase Headley lined a ball to right that Betts seemed to lose in the lights. He went to his knees, fighting the lights, and managed to reach back to make the catch, sprawling. He then had the presence of mind to set himself and fire a throw to first, doubling up Starlin Castro for a mind-blowing double play.

 

* Expanded rosters make a mockery of the game.

In the eighth inning, Joe Girardi and John Farrell combined to burn through six players for one plate appearance.

Righty Blake Parker was set to face Aaron Hill, but Farrell had lefty Travis Shaw announced. Girardi then countered by bringing in lefty Richard Bleier to face Shaw.

Of course, Farrell countered by having righty Chris Young hit for Shaw. Young reached on a fielder's choice, and because Young can't play third, Farrell had insert Deven Marrero at third in the bottom of the inning.

Four position players and two pitchers in one spot. That couldn't be done in any other month during the season.

So why is it allowed in September?