On the cusp of their best win of the season – coming back from a 5-0 deficit in Yankee Stadium against Phil Hughes, and coming back again from 7-6 down - the Red Sox entered the bottom of the ninth inning up 9-7 with Jonathan Papelbon on to close things out.
Two two-run home runs later (by Alex Rodriguez and Marcus Thames) the Red Sox were saddled with an 11-9 loss, perhaps their worst of a horrid season thus far. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the inning, and they were all fastballs.
Sox hit low point of a disappointing season - Sean McAdam says that this one stung.
His fight with Father Time leaves scars - Howard Bryant with a must-read feature on David Ortiz’s ongoing struggle with baseball mortality, and how the Red Sox and MLB Players Association supported him last season.
Problem starts with Josh Beckett - Michael Silverman claims that the Red Sox woes this season can be traced to Beckett and his 7.46 ERA.
Red Sox failure to pitch in getting tired - Jon Couture says that the entire starting rotation is to blame.
Lowell’s ‘frustration’ continues to mount - Rob Bradford gets Mike Lowell to talk about his frustrations with his part-time role. (Is it wrong to point out here that Bradford wrote a book with Lowell?)
The Celtics will look to go up 2-0 in their series with the Magic with a game tonight in Orlando. (ESPN, 8:30 PM) CelticsLinks.com has all the coverage heading into tonight.
Celtics’ Defense In Good Hands With New Britain’s Thibodeau - via the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant has a piece on the Celtics “defensive coordinator.”
What to watch for in Tuesday’s Game 2 - Paul Flannery looks at what we can expect tonight.
Defensive rotation comes full circle - Julien Benbow has the Celtics finally coming together as a unit in the playoffs, despite still having individual disagreements.
Slight improvement - Frank Dell’Apa’s notebook has Kevin Garnett talking about the improvement in his team.
These Bruins have that old familiar feel - Michael Felger goes after Jeremy Jacobs as the reason for the Bruins never getting over the hump.
Sifting through the rubble - Fluto Shinzawa ends his analysis of the Bruins with the following statement: “When you’re lacking in character, you give up 3-0 series leads and 3-0 Game 7 advantages.” I wonder if he’ll be able to expand on that in the following days. Sounds an awful lot like the media reports coming out of Gillette following the Patriots loss to the Ravens in the playoffs.
Bruins’ Playoff Report Card - Stephen Harris hands out the postseason grades.
Bruins should keep Julien - Mike Loftus says that firing the coach isn’t the answer.
Biggest questions still facing the Patriots - Christopher Price has some things that still need to be settled with this Patriots team.
Familiarity With College Coaches Helps Bill Belichick Mine Proper Talent for Patriots - Jeff Howe looks at how many players that the Patriots have drafted over the years that come from programs where the coach has ties to Bill Belichick.
McKenzie and top Pats competitions - Mike Reiss looks at areas of competition on the Patriots roster.
On the downside this morning…well, you could pretty much predict Shaughnessy today. Right in his wheelhouse. A BSMW messageboard poster described the column thusly: “Towering laziness. Self-pitying (pre-2002/2004) New England sports fan-centric. Bruin collapse cross-references. Not a scintilla of any original reportage. My God, people, Ray Fitz’s space in The Globe is being taken by this utter fraud? The horror.”