The Time of Papi

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The Time of Papi

In case you couldn't tell from the violent screams shooting out of John Henry's yacht, the Red Sox lost again today.

Once again, they went down fighting which is nice. But the problem, as usual, is that it took them eight innings to start fighting.

Anyway, if you missed the latest comeback attempt, the Sox went into the ninth down 3-1. Jacoby Ellsbury kicked things off with a walk. Dustin Pedroia followed that with a walk. So that made it runners on first and second, with nobody out, for Adrian Gonzalez.

And wouldn't you know? Gonzalez came up HUGE with a sac fly.

(I know that he's been solid, but I'm still waiting for Gonzalez to come through in one of these situations. On one hand, it's hard to get too angry, because even when Gonzalez falls on his face, he finds a way to be useful. Worst-case scenario, it's a sacrifice fly. But the bottom line is that this team is dying for something to get excited about, and since Opening Day, Gonzalez has had a few real opportunities to make it happen. So far, it's sac flies.)

OK, so now it was runners on second and third, with one out, and the Blue Jays brought in their closer Sergio Santos (who blew the save on Monday) to face the artist formerly known as Kevin Youkilis. Believe it or not, Youk struck out.

So now, with two outs, and the tying run on second base, the entire game now rested on the shoulders of David Ortiz.

Papi stepped plate, set his feet, calked his bat and was ready to roll

Quick question: Remember when this felt automatic?

Remember when there was no more confident moment in all of Boston sports than watching David Ortiz take the plate in the ninth inning of a close game? T

There's no one on this team who can even come close to inspiring that kind of confidence. Not Pedroia, not Ellsbury, not Shoppach and sadly, not even Big Papi himself.

He grounded out to short.

The Sox are 1-5.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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