Four from the first half

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Four from the first half

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey - When you least expect it, expect it. Or that which you can expect least should be expected. Or sometimes things happen you weren't ready for. And the Patriots are doing something not expected. Undermanned on defense, they've unloaded a nastier pass rush on the Jets than we've seen all season. On offense, they look shaky despite the 13-9 halftime edge. Here's your Four. OCHOCINCO GOES OFFChad Ochocinco caught two passes in the first quarter. The first came on a nice route where he turned Antonio Cromartie inside out. Ocho caught the ball on the right sideline with plenty of room to roam and . . . stepped out of bounds. 12-yard gain. On the next Patriots' drive, a coverage miscue by the Jets led to Ocho running alone down the numbers. Brady found him and Ocho reversed field, albeit at a breathtakingly slow rate of speed. A gain of 53. His two catches set up field goals. STAGNANT PATS OFFENSETom Brady continues to look mortal. He finished the first half 12 for 22 for 194 yards but he had some heinous misses and looked indecisive at times. The Patriots took a safety when Jamaal Westerman bulldozed Sebastian Vollmer and Danny Woodhead and forced Brady into an intentional grounding. That happened after a snap by Dan Connolly went back to Brady before he was ready. Word is that Patriots tackle Matt Light lost it after that drive, complaining that the OL was getting its line calls too late and not getting set. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said he wasn't getting the booth calls quickly enough (likely personnel). Tight ends coach Brian Ferentz was seen running to the elevator after the safety. Coincidence or not, the Patriots offense ran smoother after that. Perhaps he was involved, perhaps not. CARTER AND ANDERSON TICKETMark Anderson and Andre Carter have made a bigger impact coming off the edge in the rush game than at any time all season. Carter has two sacks and forced an intentional grounding. Mark Sanchez is playing like the 09 version. It's bad over there. The Patriots also seem to be taking more blitz chances which is a good idea since they are so banged up in the secondary they can't afford to have too long to cover. SO LONG DEVINPatriots corner Devin McCourty got his shoulder dinged good when Sterling Moore sailed in on a pass intended for Plaxico Burress and buried his shoulder in the shoulder of McCourty. The Patriots Pro Bowler then joined Patrick Chung and Brandon Spikes on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. The defensive performance without McCourty was surprisingly efficient.

First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

 

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.

 

Tom Brady, Vanilla Ice look like BFFs at Under Armour event

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Tom Brady, Vanilla Ice look like BFFs at Under Armour event

Watch out Julian Edelman, Wes Welker and Alex Guerrero. Tom Brady just might have a new best friend. 

At an Under Armour event that took place on Wednesday, rapper Vanilla Ice snapped a selfie with the Patriots quarterback, who was grinning from ear to ear. 

In South Baltimore, "Armour Day" was held in order to celebrate Under Armour's 20th year in business. Brady was one of many athletes in attendance, including Jordan Spieth, Lindsey Vonn, Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, Cal Ripken, Boomer Esiason and Roger Clemens. 

Brady is one of the faces of Under Armour, along with Spieth and Warriors guard Steph Curry. When he signed in 2010, he received equity in the company as part of the deal.