PatsSeahawks: The Pick


PatsSeahawks: The Pick

On Sunday afternoon, the Patriots will take the field in rainy Seattle, looking to make a statement; looking to further erase the memory of an unfortunate 1-2 start and continue to prove that they are who you thought they were. That theyre legitimate Super Bowl contenders, perhaps even a little better.

The truth is that there are more than a few things working against the Pats this week. Theres the fact that theyve traveled across the country. Theres the fact that Seattle has a tremendous home field advantage and an even better defense. Theres the fact that theyre up against former coach Pete Carroll which on second thought is probably a benefit. But the bottom line is that theres no real shame in losing in Seattle. Not this year, and not ever.

Of course, that won't curb our freak out if the Pats happen to fall, but thankfully, I don't think that will be a problem.

They're are favored by three and a half points on Sunday, which on the surface feels like a sucker's bet. It may be a sucker's bet below the surface, too. But if that's the case, then I guess I'm a sucker.

Yeah, I know. Seattle's defense is imposing and their homefield advantage will be huge. But you can say the same thing about the Baltimore Ravens and the Pats still dropped 30 points on them. But unlike Baltimore, Seattle doesn't have the firepower to keep up the pace. So while it might take the Pats some time to get settled in the uncomfortable atmosphere, they eventually will, at which point they'll leave the Seahawks in their dust.

Final Score: Pats 24, Seattle 10

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Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez


Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez

BOSTON -- The cherub stays.

There's no way Rafael Devers is headed back to Triple-A before the homestand starts Friday, right, Dave Dombrowski? Not for the newly acquired Eduardo Nunez, who's a fine player but has nowhere near the offensive upside of Devers, the 20-year-old phenom you just rushed to the big leagues.


You probably weren't really considering sending Devers straight back, were you now, Dave? Sometime in the 3 o'clock hour Eastern time on Wednesday morning (after a 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Mariners), you did tell reporters in Seattle that you would need to sit down with manager John Farrell to figure out the plan at third base from here.

Likely, you're just making sure your ducks are in a row. That Nunez himself has a chance to shake hands with you, and gets to hear straight from you what he'll be doing.

That's fair. But let's be doubly sure we're on the same page.

As long as something else doesn't happen between now and then -- no other trades for third basemen, no injuries -- Devers must at least platoon at third unless he shows he can't handle it. Nunez bats right, Devers left.

But it wouldn't be crazy to let Devers have the bulk of the playing time, either, and use Nunez to spell Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Or simply have him come off the bench.

Devers didn't look overmatched in his very first big-league game Tuesday night. On the contrary, he was patient at the plate, drawing the walk that started a sixth-inning rally against Felix Hernandez. (King Felix is quite the draw for a someone making his major-league debut, we should note.) He looked like a happy kid, and sounded like one after the game.

"For me it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there," Devers told reporters through translator Daveson Perez. "That's what I was trying to do and I think I did that."

Devers finished 0-for-4 with a pair of walks, one strikeout and a run scored. He didn't make any errors and looked smooth and quick, his athleticism shining through some baby fat.

Dombrowski spoke during the last homestand about the lack of league-norm production at third base. Nunez can bring that, if nothing more. He is, at a position that's had no certainty, some form of certainty. A stable piece that can help out around the infield and has valuable versatility.

But Nunez is not what the Sox need most: A bopper.

Devers has pop. The chances he blossoms this year are not in his favor because he is the youngest player in the majors. But it would be a most strange and almost cruel choice to call the kid up for two days and then decide you don't need him because of Nunez, who entered Tuesday with the same OPS as Mitch Moreland (.745).

If you're the glass-is-half-full-type, the first four-game losing streak of the season for the Red Sox was numbed by a third-base situation that's been upgraded twofold. Let's assume the Sox know how to best deploy the two from here -- in the big leagues together, until shown a reason to change course.