C's lack of urgency bothers Rivers

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C's lack of urgency bothers Rivers

BOSTON It's still early in the season.

You're going to hear that a lot from the Boston Celtics until they win a game.

But as disturbing as their 0-2 record might be, what's even more bothersome has been the lack of urgency the C's have displayed in both games.

"I still don't like our urgency yet, honestly," Rivers said. "I don't like how we're approaching games. And until we do that, we're going to struggle."

The message is not one that's lost on the players, with many echoing Rivers' sentiments about the team lacking the necessary urgency before and during games.

"We're 0-2 now," said Boston's Jason Terry. "For us not to come out and ready to fight, when we get to that court tomorrow night at Washington, would be definitely disappointing."

Terry added, "I know this team. I know what we got deep down in us. It's time to turn it up a level."

Kevin Garnett spoke to the entire team following the game, delivering a message that players said really resonated with them.

"What he said is we have to go into every battle like we're the underdog, like we have nothing, we're scrapping," said C's guard Courtney Lee.

Garnett went a step further and used the hyena as an example.

"When they go for the kill, they eat in packs," Lee recalled Garnett saying. "That's how we have to do. We have to go out there and have each other's backs, play for each other and make the right plays, be on the same page. The only thing that's going to help with that is repetition and time."

First impressions: Red Sox lose to Yankees, still clinch AL East

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First impressions: Red Sox lose to Yankees, still clinch AL East

NEW YORK -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Yankees:

 

* The Red Sox couldn't have asked any more from Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz turned in what was likely his best start of the season, tossing six shutout innings while yielding just one hit -- an infield hit at that.

Brett Gardner was the only New York hitter to solve him. The leadoff hitter walked twice and reached on a slow roller to third, the only hit Buchholz allowed.

Twice, Buchholz retired eight Yankees in a row. He consistently pitched ahead in the count and showed a good rhythm on the mound.

Only a few months ago, the notion of Buchholz being part of the Red Sox' postseason rotation was laughable. Now, the Red Sox view him as a dependable, consistent starter.

And why not? Over his last seven starts, Buchholz is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA.

Funny how quickly things can change in baseball.

 

* Don't invite Craig Kimbrel to your celebration.

Kimbrel came on for the bottom of the ninth, with a 3-0 lead and needing just three outs.

He barely threw a strike, allowing a leadoff single and three straight walks, the latter of which forced in a run.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Toronto had already lost, clinching the division title for the Sox before the bottom half of the inning began.

Still, it was troubling to watch Kimbrel. This was, after all, a save situation, even if some of the adrenaline was taken away by the Blue Jays' loss.

Kimbrel seemed completely incapable of throwing a strike. At all.

Hardly the way you want your closer to be a week before your first post-season game.

 

* The Red Sox lineup poses all sorts of problems for opposing managers.

In the eighth, Joe Girardi had a choice to make -- pitch to David Ortiz with two on and first base open. Or walk Ortiz and pitch to Mookie Betts, with Hanley Ramirez waiting on deck.

Pick your poison.

Girardi picked incorrectly, though there might not have been a correct one.

That's what happens when you face three hitters in a row with 110 RBI or more.

 

Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

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Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox have won the AL East, clinching the division championship when the Toronto Blue Jays lost to Baltimore.

David Ortiz and the Red Sox, who had already secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, will open their postseason schedule Oct. 6 seeking a second World Series crown in four years. The team's first opponent has not been determined yet.

Boston's game against the New York Yankees in the middle of the ninth inning Wednesday night when the Orioles finished off their 3-2 victory at second-place Toronto. The Red Sox began the night needing a win or a Toronto loss to wrap up their eighth AL East title.