The Boston Red Sox played arguably their most important week of baseball this season, and they didn’t fold under the pressure.
First, they won two out of three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, they returned home to play the New York Yankees for the first time at Fenway this year.
Boston won the first three games of the series in blowout fashion, outscoring the Yankees 38-13 in those games. The 19-3 victory on Thursday was the most runs the Red Sox have ever scored against the Yankees in history. Mookie Betts had his best game of the season on Friday night with three home runs and five RBIs.
Even with the 9-6 loss Sunday night, the five wins against division foes this week put the Red Sox right back in the thick of the playoff race. They are now just a game behind the Oakland Athletics for the second wild card spot and only a half game behind the Rays for second place in the division. That will change soon, as the Red Sox are playing both the Rays and the Yankees again this week. Another week like this past one will almost certainly put the Sox in solid playoff position heading into August.
New England Patriots
The Patriots started up training camp this week, and there are already some interesting storylines just four days in. First of all, Julian Edelman is likely to miss almost all of the preseason with a broken thumb he sustained playing catch a few weeks ago. With Edelman out, other wide receivers, such as Maurice Harris and Ryan Davis, have gotten the chance to show off in the early days of training camp. N’Keal Harry, this year’s first round pick, has been the standout so far, which isn’t that surprising.
What is surprising is that quarterback Danny Etling was among those taking reps as a receiver. Etling spent all of last year on the practice squad and will likely be there again, but it could be in a different position. It may seem crazy for any other team, but the Patriots have already turned one seventh-round quarterback into a star receiver, so could it possibly happen again?
Tom Brady has looked just as sharp as ever, and there is no question on who will be the signal caller for the Patriots in Week 1. However, other positions like tight end and cornerback are wide open for players to take. Over the next few weeks, we will find out which players want it the most and win their respective position battles. That is what training camp is all about, and it’s just getting started.
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[Now that things are progressing to a “new normal” and more non-COVID-19 news, events and “need to know” information becomes available, we will continue this feature five days a week.] In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com...