Talking Points: Rangers 6, Red Sox 3


Talking Points: Rangers 6, Red Sox 3

STAR OF THE GAME: Mike NapoliMike Napoli continued to crush Red Sox pitching. He went 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI. With the Sox leading by a run in the fourth inning, Napoli hit another two-run home run, giving the Rangers a lead they would not relinquish.It was Napolis seventh career home run at Fenway, the most of any ballpark for him behind only Angel Stadium, his former home ballpark, where he hit 54 home runs, and Rangers Ballpark, where he has hit 19. It was also his third two-run homer in the two-game set.Napoli added a two-run double in the Rangers three-run eighth-inning, putting the game out of hand for the Sox.
HONORABLE MENTION: Derek HollandHolland gave up a two-run home run to Dustin Pedroia in the second inning, but that was all the Red Sox would get off the Rangers left-hander. He allowed just four more baserunners after that, two on walks and two on hits, with Mike Aviles, lead-off single in the third, getting picked off.
THE GOAT: Bobby ValentineFor the second time in three games, Valentine arguably left a pitcher in too long. With the Rangers leading by a run, left-hander Franklin Morales entered to start the eighth inning. After getting Elvis Andrus to fly out, Morales gave up a single to left-handed hitting Josh Hamilton. With right-hander Matt Albers warming up in the pen, Valentine left Morales in to face four straight right-handed batters, all of whom reached base. Hamilton scored when Craig Gentry was hit by a pitch in his left ankle, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz scored on Mike Napolis double. Mitch Moreland, a left-handed batter, was intentionally walked by Morales. Albers then entered and got Brandon Snyder to ground into a double play to end the game.
TURNING POINTMike Napolis two-run home run in the fourth gave the Rangers a one-run lead, and that was all starter Derek Holland would need.
STAT OF THE DAY: .358Mike Napoli went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and four RBI Wednesday. He is batting .358 (24-for-67) with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in 20 games against the Red Sox since the start of the 2010 season.
QUOTE OF THE DAYSure, I was booing myself. It didnt work out. Manager Bobby Valentine, if he expected to get booed after leaving Franklin Morales in to face seven batters, giving up three runs, before lifting him for Matt Albers in the eighth.

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

The NHL Network is terrific. Its programming is the best of any of the four major sports leagues’ channels, its talent is outstanding and it shows a lot of cool games across various leagues.  

Players mess up though. 

In the network’s recently released ranking of the 40 best goaltenders of all time, the Bruins were well-represented, but so too was insanity. We’re talking Jonathan Quick in the top 20 (No. 16!), Marc-Andre Fleury top 25 (No. 21!) and Corey Crawford top 30 (No. 26!). Those are just a few of the head-scratchers. 

Tim Thomas was one of seven Bruins on the list, coming in at No. 27. Other Bruins ranked were Bernie Parent (No. 12), Frank Brimsek (No. 23), Rogie Vachon (No. 25), Tiny Thompson (No. 28), Gerry Cheevers (No. 29), Andy Moog (No. 36). Here's the full list, per Mark Lazerus. 

Statistically, Tuukka Rask deserves a place on this list if Fleury and Crawford are going to be that high, but we’ll save the Rask arguments for literally every other second of my life. 

[OK, real quick: Rask has the highest career save percentage of all time. Quick sits No. 17 and Fleury is 32nd. This doesn’t need to be completely statistics based, but it also shouldn’t be completely how-many-Cup-teams-were-on-based. Honestly, I can’t tell what this list is based on at all. Like Cristobal Huet had a better career save percentage than Fleury has.]

Anyway, everyone else hated the list, too.