Brady will take the wins however they come


Brady will take the wins however they come

FOXBORO -- New England's 29-26 overtime win over the Jets was ugly. No doubt about that.
But the Patriots don't really care.
"The winning is important because youve only got 16 opportunities," Tom Brady said Wednesday. "You can play really well for 58 minutes and then not play well for two minutes and thats the game. So the important thing is the win or the loss."
More importantly, the Patriots don't really care if you care.
"Whether the fans appreciate that or not, thats not really our concern," Brady continued. "Were trying to win every week, but whether you lose by 1 or 30, or win by 1 or 30, the record is the same. And really, it doesnt have any bearing on the next week either."
The quarterback isn't saying last Sunday's game didn't have problems. In the same press conference he talked about how the team will always identity areas of its play that need improvement. Fourth-quarter offense? Yeah, that's something that has to get better. The secondary's continued surrender of 20-plus yard plays? That needs fixing, too.
But working things out doesn't mean twisting the screws of last week's mistakes.
"Part of the mental toughness is putting what happened behind and moving forward to next week without wasting any time or energy spent thinking about last week and using all your energy to move onto the following week so you can be at your best that week" he said. "Thats how you string wins together. That's why you dont win one, lose one, win one, lose one, because at the end of the day, you're mediocre and you're watching all the good teams play. The good teams win, win, win, win, win."So maybe squeaking a three-point victory over a vulnerable Jets team didn't make the fans feel good. Maybe more flaws were exposed. For the Patriots, who've lost more close games than they've won this season, the walk off the field and into the locker room was a little piece of heaven."Thats a great part of the week," Brady smiled. "Probably the four minutes that you get to enjoy it after the game until you start thinking about the next game. So thats part of the marathon part of the football season. Its a game of attrition and its for the mentally strong and its for the mentally tough and the physically tough. That's where the good teams begin to separate themselves."
Talent aside, is this team mature enough to flex the kind of mental toughness Brady talked about? It's been noted that the 2012 opening day roster is the youngest ever put together in Bill Belichick's tenure. It can't be easy for players with little NFL experience to quickly master the reactionary aspect of their competitiveness.
But that's where old Patriots pros can step in. It happened for Brady in the past.
"I think I had a lot of great examples and mentors when I was a younger player, of guys that could put good games past them, could put bad games past them and you move forward as a team. We have a relatively young team. We have some great captains; we have some great veteran leadership that really has to carry the torch and say, No, guys, this is what we need to do. This is how we have to move on.
"The better the veteran leadership is, the better the younger guys understand what they need to do. And they do their job and you do your job and everyone is doing their jobs and you all move forward with hopefully winning games."

Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start


Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

CHICAGO -- Everything was going smoothly until the No. 9 hitter.

Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third inning Monday in his first start of 2017, David Price walked two straight batters with none on and one out in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Adam Engel walked, as did leadoff man Tim Anderson -- who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the game.

Price, whose command was in question coming off just two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, immediately paid for the consecutive free passes.

Melky Cabrera jumped on Price's first pitch, a middle-in fastball, for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

The Sox got Price two runs back in the top of the fourth inning, giving him something of a fresh slate with a tie game at 3-3. He took advantage of the second chance, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning and keeping the game tied, and was rewarded when Mookie Betts homered to lead off the fifth and put the Red Sox back on top, 4-3.

Back from an elbow injury, Price was impressive out of the gate in his first major league game since last year's playoffs. He struck out Anderson to begin his season and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The lefty touched 96 mph on the final pitch of the first inning, which produced an easy groundout to shortstop from first baseman Jose Abreu.

Price was staked to a 1-0 lead before he threw a pitch.

Betts' leadoff double against Chicago's David Holmberg gave way to a run thanks to some great Betts base running. He took third base on Dustin Pedroia's ground out and then scored on a foul pop up that Abreu, the first baseman, snagged in foul territory with a basket catch — a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

Home runs were a big problem for Price last year. So too was the third inning, when he had a 6.03 ERA.

Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision


Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

CHICAGO -- Injury scares are finding Dustin Pedroia in all the wrong places.

The Red Sox second baseman was pulled in the second inning Monday afternoon against the White Sox because of a left wrist sprain, an injury he seemed to suffer on a collision running to first base in the top of the first inning.

He and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu converged on the bag at the same time on a grounder to Abreu, and Pedroia tumbled over Abreu

Pedroia had season-ending surgery on the wrist in September 2014, addressing a tendon issue. Pedroia had surgery on his left knee this year, and missed time after Manny Machado's slide caught him in that leg in April.

Pedroia during the last homestand was pulled as a precaution because of concern for that leg.

Josh Rutledge took over for Pedroia at second base.