Patriots to honor Light at halftime vs. Texans


Patriots to honor Light at halftime vs. Texans

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will honor Matt Light at halftime of Monday's game against the Houston Texans for being the fifth player since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002 to play his entire career in New England.

But as Patriots coach Bill Belichick pointed out on Wednesday, Light -- who retired in May after his 11-year career -- is being honored for more than his on-field performance as an offensive lineman.

"Matt was a great player for this organization, at a key position," said Belichick. "He brought a lot to the team in terms of personality and leadership, toughness, dependability, consistency. He had a great career, starting from his rookie year and all the way through.

"He dealt with some personal things off the field, Crohn's disease and all that. But in spite of those challenges, he really found a way to still continue to perform at a very high level. And I think that's a great credit to him too, on the adjustments and the things that he did on that level. He was great off the field, with the team and in the locker room in terms of leadership and all that. But also in terms of his contributions to the community and what he's done with The Light Foundation and so forth.

"I loved coaching Matt Light. I'm glad we had him on our team," Belichick continued. "He contributed a lot. He certainly knew how to needle and irritate people, sometimes in a good way. And that was something that every team needs a little bit of, a little bit of a lighter side to their personality. And that was another one of his strengths."

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers


First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

* Steven Wright continues to have problems with the weather.

Recall earlier this season that Wright's worst start of the season came in an outing against Houston, which was played in a non-stop downpour. Unable to properly grip the ball because of the wet conditions, Wright was pounded.

On Tuesday, there wasn't rain in the forecast, but the extreme heat and humidity -- gametime temperature was a steamy 92 degrees -- appeared to have some issues gripping the baseball because of sweat building up on his hand and arm.

Some of the knuckleballs Wright threw were flat with little movement, likely in part because he couldn't "push'' them out of his grip thanks to the slipperiness of the ball.

It's unclear what the Red Sox can do about this going forward, but if Wright has to be so protected against the elements to be successful, then the Sox have a problem.

* The bullpen remains a nightly adventure.

It's never a good thing when your starter can't through the fifth inning. It's even worse when the relievers who are then called upon can't shut the door, either.

Robbie Ross Jr., who has been up-and-down in his effectiveness for much of the year, retired five of the first six hitters he faced.

So far, so good.

But with two out in the seventh and the bases empty, Ross inexplicably lost command. First, he plunked Justin Upton. Then, he allowed a single. Then he issued consecutive walks to the eighth and ninth hitters in the Tigers' lineup, including a bases-loaded free pass to light-hitting Tyler Collins (.184 coming in).

It's that kind of unpredictability that makes it hard to navigate through the opponents batting order in the late innings

 * The drought with the bases loaded ended, but struggles with RISP continue

The Sox got a run-scoring single with the bases full by Dustin Pedroia in the sixth, producing a run, and ending a drought in which the Sox have, time after time, been unable to capitalize with the bases full.

But the situational hitting continues to dog them.

After going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position Monday night, the Sox were only marginally better (3-for-10) on Tuesday.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

Patriots training camp: Who will be this year's Zach Sudfeld?

Patriots training camp: Who will be this year's Zach Sudfeld?

Mike Giardi and Phil Perry continue their Countdown to Camp as they discuss several story lines that we will hear a lot of.