There is not a lot to talk about in Boston sports this week because the NHL decided to schedule the Stanley Cup a month after the Bruins finished their sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes it seems. The Red Sox played every day but they had a pretty average week, so expect this report to be a little shorter.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox played seven road games this week against the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros, and they finished the trip 4-3. The week got off to a great start when they took three of four from the Blue Jays north of the border. Their success came to a screeching halt when they lost the first two against the Astros. The Sox were able to salvage the series with a big 4-1 win on Sunday though.
A couple of blowouts was how the week commenced for the Red Sox, as they beat the Blue Jays 12-2 on Monday afternoon but then preceded to lose 10-3 on Tuesday. In Monday’s blowout win, four Red Sox players smashed home runs, including Jackie Bradley Jr. who hadn’t hit one all season until that point. Eduardo Rodriguez struggled mightily in Tuesday’s game, picking up his third loss of the season by letting up six runs in five innings.
On Wednesday, the Red Sox won one of their hardest fought games all season so far. They led the whole game, but the Blue Jays tied it at four in the ninth. The Red Sox took the lead in the 12th on a Mookie Betts home run, but the Blue Jays tied it up again in the bottom of the inning. Finally, Michael Chavis’s 10th home run of the year in the 13th inning gave the Sox a 6-5 lead that they were able to hold onto for the win. In the series finale on Thursday, Ryan Weber gave them a surprisingly strong outing in a spot start. He threw six innings and only gave up one run as the Red Sox won 8-2. Steve Pearce had a huge day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs.
Houston wasn’t as kind to the Red Sox as Toronto was, and they dropped back-to-back heartbreaking 4-3 losses to start the series. On Friday, they struggled with runners in scoring position and left a bunch of men on base. They were only able to muster up runs on three solo home runs, and the defense made three errors that helped the Astros score their runs. It was a sloppy game all around. On Saturday, it wasn’t sloppy on defense, but the Red Sox still left a ton of runners on base. Still, they were able to score two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at three, but the Astros won it in the bottom of the inning on a walk off single by Carlos Correa.
Finally, on Sunday, they picked up a win behind a great outing by Rodriguez, who threw six innings of one run ball and struck out five. The bullpen did a great job of securing the victory. Rafael Devers continued his red-hot stretch with another home run, his seventh of the season and fourth of the week. He is now batting .330 with an OPS over .900.
Next the Red Sox will return home for a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians before traveling to New York to face off with the Yankees for the second time this season.
There’s not much to talk about for the Bruins this week because they haven’t played since way back on May 16. They did, however, find out who they would be facing in their quest for their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history. On Monday, they will be facing off with the St. Louis Blues in a rematch of the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, which the Bruins swept 4-0. That series is home to one of the most iconic moments in NHL history, when Bobby Orr scored the series-winning goal in overtime and flew threw the air for one of the greatest photos in sports history.
The Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games in the Western Conference Finals to advance to the Stanley Cup for the first time since that 1970 series. The Blues are the oldest team to never win a Stanley Cup despite playing in three finals.
In order to keep the rust off in their long hiatus in preparation for the Cup, the Bruins played an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday night at the TD Garden that was open to the public. The event actually sold out, and the fans were treated to two 25 minute periods of watching their favorite players tune up before the Stanley Cup starts on Monday.
All the Bruins, with the exception of Kevan Miller and Chris Wagner, will be ready to go in Game 1 on Monday night at the TD Garden. If this series lives up to its billing, we should all be in for a real treat.
As little news there was for the Bruins this week, there was even less for the other inhabitants of the TD Garden. The only real Celtics news this week was that a couple of Celtics were named to All-NBA teams. Marcus Smart was named to the All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career. He absolutely deserved this honor after being the heart and soul of the Celtics team on defense.
In addition, Kyrie Irving was named to the All-NBA Second Team after his terrific season averaging 23.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. Obviously nothing can be said about where Irving will decide to go in free agency this summer except for rumors, but all rumors point to him going somewhere other than Boston.
After suffering a heart attack almost a month ago, Danny Ainge made his first public appearance this week at a service for John Havlicek. He has been back to work for a couple of weeks now and appears to be doing really well in his recovery.
New England Patriots
The biggest news out of Foxboro this week was that tight end Benjamin Watson, who signed with the team a few weeks ago, announced that he will miss the first four games of the 2019 season due to a failed drug test. He admitted to using a steroid to help him heal after deciding to retire, but after choosing to return he found out that he tested positive and would be suspended the first four games. He said he appreciated the Patriots giving him a contract in spite of this misfortune, and he looks forward to helping the team once he returns.
The Patriots also started organized team activities (OTAs) this week. Notable players like Tom Brady and Sony Michel were absent, but the rookies really impressed. The Patriots’ top two picks of this year’s draft, wide receiver N’Keal Harry and cornerback Joejuan Williams, each made some standout plays in the first day of organized team drills.
There is not too much to get excited about or draw conclusions from in May practices with no pads, but it is encouraging to see the new faces already making a mark.
Bruins– Monday 5/27 Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 vs. St. Louis Blues @ 8 p.m., Wednesday 5/29 Game 2 vs. Blues @ 8 p.m., Saturday 6/1 Game 3 at Blues @ 8 p.m.
Red Sox– Monday 5/27 vs. Cleveland Indians @ 4 p.m., Tuesday 5/28 vs. Indians @ 7 p.m., Wednesday 5/29 vs. Indians @ 6 p.m., Thursday 5/30 at New York Yankees @ 7 p.m., Friday 5/31 at Yankees @ 7 p.m., Saturday 6/1 at Yankees @ 7:15 p.m., Sunday at Yankees @ 7 p.m.
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