Monday, October 15, 2018


OCTOBER 15, 2018

As a sports fan in New England, you sometimes have an occasion like Sunday night when the Patriots were at home facing the 5-0 Chiefs, and the Red Sox were at Fenway against the Astros in Game #2 of the ALCS. Two critical contests. How to watch them both?

In the old days, I just put 2 TVs next to each other, turned the sound down on one, adjusting the audio as needed on them and watched both sporting events.

However Sunday night I was at Gillette with Driller Killer and the Bear. Driller had sent me an email from the Patriots noting that if you downloaded the Gillette Stadium app and switched to Gillette’s Wi-Fi, you could stream the Red Sox game. And so we did.

Except for the walk up to Gillette, just before 7pm, when we missed Boston scoring 2 runs in the 1st, we were able to see the Red Sox in real time, while watching the Patriots in person. And if you get lucky, you get to see two wins. And we did.

The Red Sox were desperate to win Game #2 before heading to Houston. It was good to see the Sox up 2-0, but then the game was tied. And then they were behind 4-2. But Jackie Bradley, Jr. took care of that with a bases loaded double off the wall in left. It was 5-2 and the Red Sox listened to my exhortations to add pad runs. Mookie had something to do with that. He had an RBI double in the 8th . But in the 7th Mookie had walked vs Lance McCullers. What followed was ‘wild pitch’, ‘passed ball’, ‘wild pitch’, unearned run scored by Mookie. All this with Martin Maldonado, considered a very good catcher, behind the plate. Thank you for your generosity. Eventually the Sox had 3 pad runs and the 7-3 lead was enough to offset any wild and crazy behavior by closer Craig Kimbrel.

Snake-bitten David Price got some mild redemption by getting into the 5th and not totally imploding. The offense kicked in and the much maligned bullpen managed to put up zeroes until Kimbrel came in. The key move by Cora was bringing in Rick Porcello for the 8th. Porcello did just what he did to the Yankees having a shut down inning, and getting the game to Kimbrel. One win was in.

The other contest went the way that I predicted pre-game. The last team with the ball would win. It didn’t look like that when the Patriots were up 24-9 at the Half. But while the Pats won the 1st Half, the Chiefs did their best to bounce back, even taking a lead in the 4th quarter, and then tying the game with 3:03 left. Oops! KC left too much time on the clock for the ‘Comeback Kid’ as Tom Brady expertly marched his team down the field for a game winning field goal.

In that last drive to get that 28 yard winning FG, the big play was a pass to Gronk for 39 yards down to the KC 9. Oh and the NE series just prior: Gronk had the big catch as he went for 42 yards to the KC 37. It set up Gostkowski’s 50 yard FG. NE only won by 3.
Gostkowski kicked 5 FGs on the night 48, 24, 39, 50 and 28. The 2nd win was in.

The Patriots never punted in the game. They stopped themselves only once, on Brady’s 3rd quarter fumble when sacked. That set up a short field at the NE 29 and led to a KC TD. Brady knows better. He had all day (night) to pass, but held on to it too long.

For that matter, KC only punted once in the game, on its 5th possession of the 2nd Half . It was an important 3 and out by the Pats D coming after the Chiefs took over at 5:25 of the 4th. The score was 37- 33 NE at the time. After KC punted, there was 3:50 left. NE would score a FG and TD after that.

It was obvious to the meanest intelligence that the Patriots needed to run and rush KC QB Mahomes in order to win the game. The Pats rushed for 173 yards (Michel had 100 at the beginning of the 4th quarter). The Pats ran more (38 plays) than they passed (35x).
That allowed NE to control Time of Possession (36:09 to 23:51). In fact the Pats had the ball for 11:29 of the 4th quarter.

Good thing the Pats won that battle because the Chiefs, with Mahomes throwing 4 TD passes, scored fast. 2nd Half: 67 yard pass to RB Kareem Hunt (1:33 elapsed). 14 yard pass to WR Tyreek Hill (1:27 after TB’s fumble). After Tremon Smith’s 97 yard kick return, 1 yard pass to Hill (1:44). 75 yard TD to Hill (0:12) that tied the game 40-40.
Amazing that the Pats held them to 3 FGs in the 1st Half.

As for rushing the KC QB, the stats don’t tell the whole story. NE never sacked Mahomes and had only 3 QB hits (Flowers, Hightower and Clayborn). However they put good pressure on Mahomes in the first Half when he threw his two interceptions. On one, Dont’a just made a great play, cutting in front of the receiver. The other was Harmon’s in the end zone just before Half which was caused by a good pass rush.

The Red Zone was the difference. NE 4 of 6. KC 2 of 5.

NE was 7 of 13 on 3rd down. KC was 4 of 10. NE had zero penalties! KC 5, two of which gave the Pats a 1st down.

Josh Gordon had the most targets (9) with 5 catches. White (7/5), Edelman (7/4) and Hogan (4/4). Hogan made 2 big catches (42 and 19 yards) in the 2nd Half series that led to the Pats retaking the lead 37-33 on Brady’s rushing TD.

All this talk about who the better TE is Gronk or Travis Kelce. Well Gronk had two big 2nd Half catches which helped produce NE’s last two FGs, including the winner. 4 targets, 3 catches (97 yards) for Gronk. Kelce had 5 catches on 9 targets (61 yards), but was targeted only once in the 2nd Half (no catch). Gronk blocks. Kelce doesn’t. Look at the 173 yards rushing by NE. Gronk’s the best. End of discussion.

Looked up how Bill Belichick-coached Patriots teams had done against rookie QBs. The
record is now 18-5. The QBs that won: Ben Roethlisberger (’04), Mark Sanchez (’09), Colt McCoy (’10), Russell Wilson (’12) and Geno Smith (’13). Source – Mike Reiss/ESPN – 9/20/17.

One other Patriots related item: it was reported that when Tyreek Hill scored on that 75 yard bomb that tied the game that a NE fan threw a cup of beer in Hill’s face. There is no room for bad behavior like that. The fan, when identified, should be banned permanently from Gillette.

When the Yankees-Sox series was in NY, a fan threw a can of beer at Craig Kimbrel as he was coming out of the bullpen. I did not see any on-line mention of it.

Was watching the Oregon vs Washington football game. At one point, the Ducks’ PA system played Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and the crowd at Autzen Stadium was singing along, just like at Fenway Park.

The Boston Bruins are back in action and fans are in for a treat. Patrice Bergeron has had a hat trick as has David Pastrnak. That’s in 5 games. The Bruins are on the road and play Calgary Wednesday.

Chris Sale went to the hospital Sunday with a stomach disorder. Think that may have affected his start against the Astros? We’ll find out after his next start against them.

I think Jeff Beck is the answer. I’m not sure he’s ever had a hit though.
Matthew Dawson
Good guess, Matt but not Beck. Always liked his Truth album with Rod Stewart singing
lead - Morning Dew. - Z

Morning, Jim - how about Mason Williams (Classical Gas). 
Making His Mark,
Good guess, Mark, but incorrect. - Z

I voted for Link Wray in this year’s nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but alas, he did not get enough votes. He certainly deserves admission due to his iconic, influential style of guitar playing. One has to believe that his method inspired the "surf guitar" music of the sixties to emerge from the Ventures, Dick Dale (born and raised in Boston), the Surfaris, and the Beach Boys.
His largest hit was "Rumble" that is still played today in real juke joints everywhere; he needs a place in Cleveland's Shrine of Rock.
Bill LaPlante
Bill, yes it's Link Wray who is the answer to the trivia question. He and his Wray Men did Rumble back in 1958 though it was so good that it had staying power and was played for quite a lot longer. Check out his Wikipedia page to see some of the guitarists he influenced with his playing. - Z

Just read zine-good stuff-off top of my head-Link Wray and "Rumble".
Cora going with Price in Game 2 ---well!
Ken Forestal
Ken, it is Rumble by Link Wray & the Wraymen in 1958. - Z

I have doubts about Price-hope to be proven wrong-there is a documentary "Rumble" it features Link Wray and other Native Americans in Rock & Roll - I have copy - I'll send it your way.
Ken Forestal
Price pitched well against the Astros out of the bullpen last year in the playoffs.
I was disappointed that many fans booed Price last Saturday. It's not like he isn't trying.
Tonight's a big game. You want to win the 1st one at home. If they don't that puts even more pressure on Price.
Did not know about that doc on Rumble and Link Wray. He has a self-titled album on Polydor with La De La, Juke-box Mama and other good songs.
Two other very good docs - Wrecking Crew and Stax/Volt. - Z

Editor’s Note: If you want to vote on musicians for next year’s inductees to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, here is the link:
Three of my favorites are up for induction: Roxy Music, John Prine and Todd Rundgren.

In talking to Fleet Feet Pete, Pal Al and Dr. John, I mentioned that during the Red Sox-Yankees playoff game I attended, the PA system played the theme from Peter Gunn. I recalled that Henry Mancini composed the theme, but the opening bass line was from one of the LA based Wrecking Crew. In the documentary about that stable of musicians who backed some of the biggest blockbuster hits and replaced the ‘bands’ on vinyl but rarely got credit for it, one was Carol Kaye, who does that opening riff in the documentary.

So Fleet Feet Pete asked me what pitcher holds the record for most career home runs. I didn’t know but Foot Joy did – ex-Red Sox (among others) righty Wes Ferrell, who had 37. And who was second? Lefty Warren Spahn with 35. Oh, and Bob Lemon had 35 too.

Foot Joy and I were talking about the DH versus NL pitchers batting for themselves. We got to bunting, and Foot Joy made a salient point (as he often does): NL pitchers don’t learn to bunt until they get to the Majors. As he noted, in AAA and the lower minors, even NL teams don’t have the pitchers bat.

Not many people got it – the singer/guitarist who had only one hit, an instrumental, but has been nominated for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame twice (not selected unfortunately), and was a huge influence on future guitarists. Bill LaPlante and Ken Forestal knew it was Link Wray. Fred Lincoln ‘Link’ Wray is credited with popularizing the power chord, used by many modern rock guitarists. Guitarists Neil Young, Jimmy Page, and Pete Townsend have cited Wray as a major influence (Source – Wikipedia).
Not even Professor Peter nor Mr. Bassman, Jesse from Tanya McIntyre and the Professors band, got the answer. Jesse did draw us what a power chord looks like on the back of a Sportzine. Thanks Jesse.

A change-up, a baseball question: This Hall of Famer is credited with the only walk-off, inside-the-park grand slam in baseball history. Name? My thanks to reader Richard Flinn who submitted this trivia question.

Sportzine is also available at thanks to Buffalo Steve Lenz


Post a Comment

<< Home