Haggerty: Thoughts from P-Bruins and Worcester Sharks

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Haggerty: Thoughts from P-Bruins and Worcester Sharks

PROVIDENCE, RI -- Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Providence Bruins and Worcester Sharks tied at 1-1 apiece after the first 20 minutes at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

1) The P-Bruins outshooting the Sharks by a 25-8 tally after just one period of play. That's a full night for plenty of AHL teams, so consider me impressed. Might be of some concern that they managed to finish off just one of those shots, but Lane MacDermid also rang a post in the first.

2) Was good to see Michael Hutchinson finally pick up his first win of the season in goal for Providence last night, but they go right back to the Swedish magic man Niklas Svedberg this afternoon. Tough period withoiut a lot of action in the one-sided affair.

3) P-Bruins let down for a Worcester goal with just 20 seconds left in the period that was awarded to Yanni Gourde, and tied it up for the Sharks. Might be a harbinger of bad things to come given the way Providence dominated the entire period.

4) Christian Hanson with the goal for Providence in the first period. The "buzzsaw line" of Hanson, Bobby Robins and Lane MacDermid has been awesome for the P-Bruins and they continue that energetic effectiveness this afternoon.

5) Just perusing the stats: team-worst minus-9 ratings for Torey Krug and flashy forward Carter Camper. Ouch, babe. The Boston Bruins can't be loving that kind of slouching at the defensive end of the ice.

SECOND PERIOD

Providence Bruins and Worcester Sharks are tied at 2-2 after the first 40 minutes at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

1) Providence getting offense from unexpected places like Christian Hanson and Justin Florek in the first 2 periods, but they'll need something from their offensive sparks if they're going to beat the Sharks.

2) Providence has to wonder what's going on after squeezing off 37 shots in the first two periods, but still sitting tied after two periods. That's a difficult challenge for a team in the final period when they probably feel they should be up two or three goals at this point.

3) P-Bruins need to do something about their penalty kill. It's the worst in the AHL statistically, and looks just as bad in actual theory on the ice. Kills the Bruins momentum when they can't cover for mistakes that lead to penalties and power plays.

4) Love the feisty attitude from Niklas Svedberg, who was throwing shoves with Worcester's Curt Gogol during a particularly busy exchange in front of the net. You might expect a goalie from Europe would show some timidity in a new situation, but he hasn't backed down one bit.

5) Tim Kennedy the best player on the ice for either team today. Creating chances and he roofed a puck over Niklas Svedberg's shoulder for the Sharks' game-tying goal. The red-hot Kennedy has five goals this weekend and 11 goals in 21 AHL games this year.

The Providence Bruins fell to the Worcester Sharks, 3-2, after an overtime and shootout at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

1) Horrible knee-on-knee collision between Sharks forward Freddie (brother of Dougie) Hamilton and Ryan Spooner at center ice. Luckily both skaters managed to get away from it, but can you imagine what would have happened if Dougie's brother took out Boston's best forward prospect.

2) Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman scored his first goal of the season on Saturday night in Portland, and fired six shots on net through the first two periods on Sunday.

3) Tommy Cross has looked pretty solid after getting the call up from the ECHL last week. He's got two assists and is a plus player in those three games after tearing it up for the South Carolina Sting Rays. Willing to get involved in the offensive end with his big shot, and has looked calm enough with typically tough AHL forechecks bearing down on him.

4) A minus-1 and one shot on net for Ryan Spooner and no shots on net for Jordan Caron in the first two periods. Nothing doing for that talented twosome on Sunday afternoon.

5) No fights today. First time I've watched a P-Bruins game without Bobby Robins dropping the gloves. That's saying something.

6) Bonus thought: Matt Bartkowski playing much better hockey than he was earlier in the year. Playing a ton of minutes and picking his spots to jump into the play.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

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Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Angels:

 

QUOTES

 

* “Missed opportunities -- that’s the story of this one. We did a fantastic job of, once again, putting guys on. But to cash in and complete the inning -- that base hit has been elusive . . . It’s been all or nothing it seems like this stretch that we’re through offensively.” Farrell said on Boston’s offensive play of late.

 

* “The first one wasn’t me. I had a lot of time off -- had a lot of things going on. The last one was more myself -- I fell like. Tonight, I made a bad pitch too (Albert) Pujols, walked a couple guys. But overall, I feel like I did a decent job.” Pomeranz on his first three starts in Boston

 

* “I’m just trying to put a good swing on a good pitch and fortunately I got one and it went over.” Mookie Betts said on his leadoff homerun.

 

* “It’s been a mixed bag.” Farrell on Pomeranz to trough his first threw starts for the Red Sox.

 

* “Overall he probably wasn’t as sharp as his last time out. And when they created damage against him it was early in counts . . . So it wasn’t like he got into too many deep innings.” John Farrell said Drew Pomeranz’s start.

 

* “It happens – it’s baseball. They capitalized on some chances and we didn’t.” Betts on the offense not taking advantage of early opportunities.

 

NOTES

 

* Mookie Betts’ leadoff homerun was his 21st long ball of the year, sixth to start off the game. He passed Dwight Evans (5 in 1985) and now only trails Nomar Garciaparra’s seven in 1997.

 

* Albert Pujols launched his 20th home run of the season, reaching that total for the 15th time in his career. He joins Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players to do so through at least 16 seasons.

 

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 33 straight games for the Red Sox after walking twice and finishing 1-for-2 in the loss.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in his second at-bat, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk.

 

* The Red Sox are now two games out of first place with Toronto finally moving into first place after defeating the Orioles 9-1 on Saturday.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Hector Santiago

Somehow, the lefty managed to scatter six walks and four hits -- including a leadoff homerun -- only giving up two runs in five innings of work against Boston.

 

2) Albert Pujols

Pujols’ two-run homerun gave the Angels the advantage after falling behind early, and proved to be enough for their pitching staff.

 

3) Dustin Pedroia

As much as Mookie Betts had the big fly, Pedroia reached base three times in four chances, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks.

First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

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First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

First impressions of the Red Sox 5-2 loss to Los Angeles:

 

Far too many missed opportunities for the Red Sox.

Hector Santiago somehow worked his way through five innings and only gave up two runs -- despite walking six batters and giving up six hits.

Somehow he’s flipped a switch in July after a rough start to the season. But Saturday night was not one of those nights.

Although the pitching wasn’t at it’s best, Santiago gave the Red Sox offense several easy chances at runs that they didn’t capitalize on -- including two instances where Bryce Brentz was punched-out.

 

Joe Kelly not the best guy to bring in with runners on.

The righty gave up a crucial double to start his appearance -- which would’ve been an amazing catch by Brock Holt.

Next leadoff batter he got out, but his last one reach on a line drive single up the middle.

So 67 percent of the leadoff batters got a hit off of Kelly.

A small sample size? Yes.

But when you’ve got a track record like Kelly’s, assessments like that are going to be made.

 

The return out west didn’t go as planned for Drew Pomeranz.

While Saturday was a Pacific Coast homecoming for the lefty starter, he wasn’t able to find his form.

It seemed like things would go well at first, but Pomeranz made some crucial mistakes in his second trip through the order.

Walking Yunel Escobar isn’t an option when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols follow him.

Furthermore, the cutter Pujols launched to left field was down the heart of the plate -- simply unacceptable.

 

Mookie Betts is making might be more valuable than Xander Bogaerts.

It became clear pretty early that Betts had the superior power.

While Bogaerts’ hands give bail him out constantly, they never move as quickly as those of the Boston leadoff hitter.

And while Bogaerts seemed to be the superior hitter for average, Betts is narrowing that gap, too.

The only case for Bogaerts being more valuable is that he’s a shortstop.

Other than that, Betts has shown he could easily be the face of the franchise when David Ortiz retires -- which is great for Boston, since he’s the one of the two who isn’t a Scott Boras client.

 

Red Sox fail to secure another series win against a bad team.

The Angels have no pitching. In fact, the Red Sox haven’t even faced their best pitcher.

And with the exception of Friday’s game, they’ve scored three runs in two LA games.

And the pitching was good until Saturday night -- so the offense has to get things going for Sunday.

Thuney stands out in first day of one-on-one work

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Thuney stands out in first day of one-on-one work

FOXBORO -- With the introduction of fully-padded practices typically comes the opportunity for linemen on both sides of the football to shine. Unfortunately for the Patriots offensive line, Saturday was sort of a rough day.

Guard Jonathan Cooper, who has been playing as the right guard on the first offensive line unit through the early portion of camp, had to be carted off the field with a foot injury. Center Bryan Stork left practice in the middle of the workout for an undisclosed reason. Guard Shaq Mason took off for some conditioning on a lower field soon after practice began. And, while healthy enough to be on the field, Marcus Cannon had difficulty trying to keep defensive ends Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard in check. 

One of the bright spots for offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia's group was rookie third-round pick Joe Thuney. The North Carolina State product has served as the left guard for the first-team offensive line thus far, and he more than held his own when the hitting commenced. 

He never appeared out of sorts next to left tackle Nate Solder, he blocked up to and through the echo of the whistle on a play-to-play basis, and he was one of the most impressive Patriots -- rookie or otherwise -- during the first one-on-one period for linemen during this year's camp. 

On his first snap, he was matched up across from last year's first-round pick Malcom Brown and held his ground against the team's top defensive tackle. Later, Thuney handled veteran free-agent pickup Frank Kearse. And on his final rep, he walled off second-year player Trey Flowers. 

For Thuney's part, those few minutes, encouraging as they might have been, had to be flushed from his memory quickly. 

"You can't think too much into one specific drill," he said. "You just gotta try and take it one play at a time and not put too much stock in one drill or one rep. If you have a bad one, just move past it. If you have a good one, move past that too and just go to the next play."

Thuney's aggressiveness and his understanding of the playbook to this point have to be as encouraging to the Patriots coaching staff as -- what appears to be, at least -- his sound technique.  

Mild-mannered in his interactions with reporters, Thuney was touted as a versatile and intelligent player coming out of college. He gushed about his college teammate Jacoby Brissett's leadership qualities soon after Brissett was drafted by the Patriots in May, and he's gone viral for his ability to slay the Rubik's Cube in a blink. 

He has some nasty to him, though. 

"I think inside every offensive lineman there's an inherent desire to play through the whistle," he said. "Obviously we don't want to play dirty or anything, but we try and play as hard as we can from whistle-to-whistle. And yeah...I do take pride in that." 

Thuney wasn't the only rookie lineman to play well on Saturday. When Cooper went down, it was sixth-rounder Ted Karras who began to see more work. 

Together, they caught the eye of at least one veteran defensive lineman. 

"They're physical," said defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. "That's a good start. Obviously they'll have to work on different techniques. Coming from college you have different terminology, a different playbook, a different style of game probably. 

"I try to help them out as much as I can even though we go at it. After the play if I feel something, I'll definitely share with them, whether [to] help them going up against myself or help them in the long run because we're all on the same team at the end of the day."

Whatever lessons Thuney's received thus far -- whether they're from coaches or from teammates on the other side of the line of scrimmage -- it looks like he's taken them to heart.