3 Issues Concerning Red Sox Pitching

After 37 games, there are 3 issues concerning Red Sox pitching. With a 22-15 record they are 2 games ahead of the Yankees. Most fans would be ecstatic. Compared to last season the team is far ahead of expectations. In this post, we will evaluate the Red Sox, pitching staff.

3 Issues Concerning Red Sox Pitching

Logjam Of Pitchers

Considering the team is the best hitting team in the league, they are carrying 13 pitchers. With managers carrying 27 players, the starters are getting pulled too early. With 5 starting pitchers 8 are sitting in the bullpen.

In, the last 10 games the starters have gone 5 innings putting pressure on the offense. Burning out the bullpen early is not a healthy scenario. With a 162 game schedule getting pulled after 5 innings won’t cut it in July and August. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta are both undefeated but have struggled after the 5th inning.

Garrett Whitlock/Shining Star

Rule 5 acquisition Garrett Whitlock has been the team’s shining star. With an impressive 0.63 ERA and 19 strikeouts, Whitlock has been one of the best relievers in baseball. Averaging 2 innings per appearance he has paved the way for Matt Barnes.

If Whitlock can stay on his current pace he will be a lock for the AL All_Star team. He has been a shining star. Matt Barnes has been stellar has a closer.

Help In The Pipeline

It’s still far to early to predict where the Red Sox will finish. One fact for sure is the starters need to go deeper into games. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez seems to be healthy after a stint with Coved 19. Will his strong outings continue?

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Chris Sale who missed all of 2020 has started throwing off the mound. I do not expect Sale to be activated until September at the earliest. So where does that leave Alex Cora? Pitchers Tanner Houck and Eduardo Bazardo were up earlier but got sent back down. Either one is ready. The team claimed Brandon Workman off waivers from the Cubs.

My gut feeling is it will be Brandon Workman or Connor Seabold. Seabold was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies last July for Workman.

Conclusion

If the club expects to make the playoffs, it starts with the pitching. Manager Alex Cora has been pulling his starters too early. Garrett Richard’s last two outings have been superb. Relying on the bullpen too early and often may result in disappointment.

3 Week One Starters From The 2021 Patriots Draft Class

With Patriots mini_camp approaching, it’s time to predict 3 potential weeks one starter from the 2021 Patriot’s draft class. The off_ season was active, to say the least. With several new faces, 2021 will be exciting. A young new quarterback gives fans hope again In this post, we will evaluate three draft selections who could potentially be starters this season.

Christian Barmore/Productive DT/ Alabama

Head coach Bill Belichick traded two fourth_round draft picks for Barmore. The four_year starter at Alabama started 22 games as a two_year starter at Alabama. His physical structure is what defensive coordinators love.

As a starter,Barmore was credited with 34 solo tackles,10 sacks, and recovered 5 fumbles. The Patriot’s style of play is the perfect fit for Barmore. The only drawback is his maturity level. Playing under the rigid Belichick style only time will tell.

Tre Nixon/Vertical Receiver/ Central Florida

This pick can go either way. The Patriots selected Nixon with the 242nd pick in this year’s draft Central Florida. The speedy receiver is a burner who can stretch the field. I project Nixon as the surprise of training camp. Like N’keal Harry, he has trouble separating himself from cover players.

Nixon transferred after two_years at Ole Miss. His pass _catching skills are inconsistent. A seventh_round draft choice, Belichick may decide to red_shirt him. It will be interesting to see how he competes against the Patriot’s receiving department.

Rhamondre Stevenson/FB/ Oklahoma

This is the most interesting pick out of this year’s draft class. Stevenson is a 6′ 1″ 231lb_ pound fullback. Known for his superior blocking skills, he is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Being an excellent blocker will be a welcomed addition for quarterback Cam Newton.

With the Patriots stressing the run I feel Stevenson will be a significant contributor this season. In two_years at Oklahoma, he started 19 games for 298 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 7 yards per carry. He will be a weapon in the red zone.

Conclusion

The year 2020 was disappointing for Patriots fans. With a seventeen_game schedule, I look for the club to go 11-6. Quarterback Cam Newton has a year in the Patriot’s system under his belt. Number One Draft Pick Mac Jones is waiting in the wings. Look for the club to be better in 2021.

Patriots Have Many Holes To Fill In This Year’s Draft.

Now that Mac Jones is officially a Patriot let’s look at the big picture. The Patriots have many holes to fill. Defensively, they ranked 26th in 2020. They were one of the worst teams in the league in stopping the run. So where do they go from here? My guess is Bill Belichick will focus on the defensive line adding to the rotation. In this post, we will discuss three departments the team needs to restructure.

Middle Linebacker/Defensive Front

The good news is Donta Hightower is returning for the 2021 campaign. Other than that there is not much to get excited about. Edge rusher Josh Uche showed flashes of promise. Chase Winovich is gradually getting better. Number one pick Kyle Duggar has shown he can play. I personally feel they need to get more physical. Teams ran all over them last season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That statistic needs to improve.

New additions Henry Anderson, Davon Godchaulx, and Matthew Judon, and Kyle Van Noy will bolster the front seven. Stopping the run is priority number one in 2021.

Patrick Chung Retiring/McCourty Aging

In the off_ season safety, Patrick Chung retired. Chung was noted for his ability in stopping the run. Long time safety Devin McCourty a year older. Second_year safety Kyle Duggar is not ready to take over yet.

Replacing Julian Edelman

The biggest off season news was Julian Edelman announcing his retirement. Edelman is one of the greatest slot receivers in Patriots history. Known for his toughness,Edelman made one of the most clutch catches in Super Bowl history in the comeback win.

Two names to keep an eye on are Elijah Moore of Ole Miss and terrace Marshall Jr of LSu. Both receivers are excellent route runners with burning speed.

Conclusion

Poor execution was frustrating for Patriots fans. A 7-9 record is frustrating for Patriots fans But with the free _agent spending spree and new blood coming in,2021 will be an exciting year.

Pitching Will Determine Red Sox Success In 2021

The Red Sox are off to a torrid start in 2021. Starting pitching will determine Red Sox’s success in 2021. Compared to last season the team has three dependable starters. The key element in the pitching will come from the fourth and fifth starters. Newly acquired Garrett Richards and Martin Perez round out the staff. In this post, we will review the organization’s starting pitching.

Five Quality Starters

In 2020, the starting pitching was non _existent. They shut down Chris Sale with Tommy John issues. Eduardo Rodriguez was out with Coved 19. This season Eduardo Rodriguez is 2-0 and healthy. Nathan Eovaldi is pitching well.

The latter part of the staff, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez have been inconsistent. Garrett Richards is struggling. Lefty Martin Perez has been OK. Prospect Tanner Houck is starting Sunday against Chicago.

Well Balanced Offense

In, 2021 the team’s 356 ERA is the fifth_ best in the league. Offensively, the club ranks first in the league in slugging percentage, OBP, and team average 273. They have 16 home runs, which are fifth in the league.

The offense will be a significant factor for the Red Sox this season. Third baseman Rafael Devers is one of the best hitters in the game. Designated hitter JD Martinez has gotten off to an excellent start. Manager Alex Cora has gotten huge contributions from Marwin Gonzalez, Alex Verdugo, and Christian Vazquez. Depth is essential for any hopes of making the playoffs.

Bullpen Depth

The Red Sox are carrying 14 pitchers. In, 14 games the bullpen has been sensational. Veteran Matt Barnes has appeared in six _games and has a 0.00 ERA with 1 win and 2 saves. Rule 5 draftee Garrett Whitlock is turning heads. Whitlock was selected by the Red Sox from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft. Veteran Matt Andriese has contributed significantly.

Conclusion

Any hopes of a deep playoff run hinges on the starting pitching. Offensively, they are the best in the league. With, Alex Cora at the helm, the future is bright.

Revolution Gearing Up For Another Championship Run

The New England Revolution is gearing up for another championship run. After a heartbreaking loss 1-0 to Columbus in the 2020 finals, the club looks forward to 2021. Last season, the Revolution finished 8th in the East. After a thrilling 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union, fans left heartbroken in the finals. With some new faces, the team looks to pick up where it left off last year.

Depth On Defense

The organization added defender John Bell in the offseason. Bell was selected by the San Jose Earthquake, in the 2020 MLS Super Draft. He is extremely fast and has superior passing skills. He will provide solid depth to the defensive unit.

In other moves, the team added midfielder Lucas Felix, also known as Maciel. Maciel is from Brazil. He was a ten_ year veteran of the famous Botafogo soccer academy. He has a World Championship on his resume.

Also joining the team were midfielder Wilfred Khartoum. Kaptoum is a Cameroonian football player. He is experienced in the world soccer community with over 100 professional appearances. With all the off _season activity, the Revolution improved from last season.

Nucleus Is Still Together

With the off_ season additions, the club’s nucleus is still together. The group of Teal Bunbury, Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, Carlos Gil, Andrew Farrell, Matt Polster, Matt Turner, Taejon Buchanon, and Brad Knighton provide the skill and experience to be a serious contender.

Superior Goalkeeping

The strength of this club is goalkeeping. The Revolution is blessed to have the league’s best goalkeeper in Matt Turner. Turner made 22 appearances in 2020. Overall, he posted an 8-7-7 record. He was also voted MLS player of the week three times. Reserves Brad Knighton and Earl EdwardsJr provide capable backup.

Conclusion

The difference between this year’s roster and last is its depth. The defense is vastly improved. With, two new mid _fielders the Revolution is in position to make a deep playoff run.

Patriots Enter Free Agency With A Bang

Tuesday the Patriots, entered the NFL Free Agency with a bang. They added 8 pieces the most team history. Coming to terms were tight end Jonu Smith, defensive end Matthew Judon from Baltimore, wide receiver Nelson Agholor from the Raiders, Defensive end Henry Anderson of the Jets. Other signings were Davon Godchaux defensive tackle from the Jets, Jalen Mills Defensive back from Philadelphia. As of Wednesday, they locked up tight end Hunter Henry from the LA Chargers. In this post, we will review three reasons why these signings will improve the Patriots in 2021.

Tight End Position Addressed

For the first time in three seasons, the Patriots strengthened the tight end department. Si With the addition of Hunter Henry and Jonu Smith, quarterback Cam Newton has two huge targets to work with.

The 2020 draft class of Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi did not pan out. Outside of Asiasi and Keene, the club has Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse. In 16 games last tight end department accounted for only 7 catches. Both Henry and Smith are elite blockers, which is a significant upgrade.

How Much Are They Improved From 2020?

The next question is how much are they improved from 2020. Head coach Bill Belichick has completely reshaped the roster. Jonu Smith and Hunter Henry are a significant upgrade. Edge rusher Matthew Judon is an All_Pro pass _ rusher.

In, Hunter Henry, the team is getting a quality tight end. In five seasons as a Charger, he has caught 196 receptions for 21 touchdowns. He is also an excellent blocker. Jonu Smith on the other hand provides many skills. He is one of the best route runners in the league and possesses excellent blocking skills. In, four years at Tennessee, he totaled 114 receptions and 16 touchdowns.

By signing Hunter and Smith, it marks the first time since the successful duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Risky Moves Versus Quality Moves

Receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are considered risky. In four years as an Eagle, Agholor had two decent seasons. In Kendrick Bourne, the team is getting another slot receiver. Overall, they should give the offense a huge boost.

As for the quality signings Hunter Henry, Jonu Smith, and Matthew Judon are all skilled players. Defensive back Jalen Mills brings stability and depth to the defensive backfield.

Conclusion

In all the signings fans have renowned hope in the Patriots again. Losing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski was a culture shock. It was nice to see the Patriots being aggressive.

Lack Of Defense Costing 2021 Celtics

The Celtic’s play as of late has been disappointing. Lack of defense is costing the 2021 Celtics. Any chance of a top seed in the NBA East is quietly dwindling before our eyes. If there is a bright spot, it’s the healthy return of Kemba Walker. Walker recently came off his best effort in a win over Indiana. In this post, we will evaluate three why the Celtics are struggling.

Brad Stevens Coaching Style Has Been Questionable

Head coach Brad Stevens is being criticized for his lack of toughness with the players. Fans and the media question Steven’s toughness with his veteran players such as Jayson Tatum.

Tatum has been up and down with his play this season. One night he’s on, the next night he’s off. Trade rumors are surfacing. If the Celtics do not put together a winning streak, the road may get a little bumpier for Brad Stevens.

In any event,the the club needs to tighten up and close out games. Overall,the team has blown leads to the Pelicans and have fallen off the top of the NBA East.

Playing Soft Defensively

As a whole, the organization ranks 16th in the league defensively. Last season they were one of the best defensive units in the NBA. Losing large leads against weaker teams has hurt them. The confidence has slipped. The Celtics need to get back to fundamentals and start to regain some ground they lost in the East.

The tough defense is what kept the Celtics deep in last year’s playoff run. Closing out games has been an issue. Forward, Jayson Tatum needs to get his confidence back. The only consistent player has been star forward Jaylen Brown.

Team Needs To Improve In The Shooting Department

This season the Celtics rank 12th in shooting with 358% from the 3 point area. With Kemba Walker getting healthier, time will tell. But overall, the club has been inconsistent. Guard Marcus Smart will be out for quite some time. Rookie Payton Pritchard has been piling up considerable minutes as a two_ guard.

Conclusion

With 35 games left, time is on the Celtics side. Kemba Walker is getting better with each game. If the team can stay healthy and Marcus Smart returns soon a deep playoff run is possible.

Sizing Up Chaim Bloom’s Offseason Transactions.

Now that baseball is officially here, it is time to make predictions. Red Sox General Manager Chaim Bloom didn’t really make any big splashes, but he did enough to keep the team competitive. In this post, we will review Chaim Bloom’s Off_ season Red Sox transactions. If anything, the organization got better. But that remains to be seen.

New _Season Fresh Outlook

In 2020, the organization had the 4th worst record in Major League Baseball. Now a year later the team has rehired Alex Cora. With Alex Cora, the club has several new faces. Key addition,s are Garrett Richards righthanded pitcher, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, right_ handed pitcher Mike Andriese, Relief pitcher Adam Oattavino, utility man Marwin Gonzalez, second_baseman Kiki Hernandez, Right Handed_pitcher Calvin Pritchard,

Granted, these moves are not blockbusters, but good enough to make a solid competitor in the AL East this season. Martin Perez provides depth. With promising prospects Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata on the horizon, the club will make 2021 interesting.

Pitching Is Still Questionable

In 2020, the team had the worst bullpen in baseball. A Major League _high 25 blown saves cost the club a winning season. Manager Ron Roenicke lost his job to Alex Cora. Starters Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez suffered season _ending injuries. Mike Andriese and Adam Ottavino will provide depth.

The primary concern is who will win the closer’s role? The logical candidate is Matt Barnes. Barnes will get competition from Ryan Brasier and Connor Seabold. Seabold came over in the Brandon Workman trade from Philadelphia trade along with Nick Pivetta.

Well Balanced Offense

In 2020 the Red Sox finished with a team average of 265 81 home runs and 278 rbi’s. They also had a 5th best 292 runs scored. Despite impressive numbers they finished with disappointing 24-36 record.

The team added Kiki Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Marwin Gonzalez to the mix. Rookie Bobby Dalbec is the starting first baseman. In23 games with the big club he had 8 home runs and 16 rbi’s in 23 games.

Team Has Plenty Of Depth

The Red Sox have added plenty of depth for the 2021 season. Manager Alex Cora has plenty of options. KiKi Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez can play both the infield and outfield. Hunter Renfroe can platoon and share the designated hitter responsibility.

Conclusion

With a new season comes hope and optimisim. The organization has young prospects ready to make their mark in the majors. The bullpen added arms and depth. A veteran starting pitcher in Garrett Richards. Red Sox fans have reason to be excited for the upcoming season.

Matt Patricia Returning Will Be Beneficial For Patriots

The Patriots announced last week, that former Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will be returning to the organization. Patricia has served the Patriots in many capacities as a defensive coach. He first joined the team in 2004 as an offensive coordinator. a year later he switched over to the defensive side as a linebacking coach. He was also part of the success by winning two Super Bowls. In this post, we will review three reasons why a Matt Patricia return will benefit the 2021 Patriots.

Familiar With The Defense

Matt Patricia has served under Bill Belichick since 2004. During that span, he has seen many great players develop under his leadership. Players such Teddy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Vince Wilforkhttp Devin McCourty, and Chandler Jones have all performed under Matt Patricia.

Last season, the team was last in stopping the run. Overall, New England allowed 5 yards per carry. One of its’s worst seasons under head coach Bill Belichick.

Front Seven Needs To Be Restructured

For years, New England has been known for their front seven. With players leaving and opt_outs the organization has suffered significantly. New faces have been leaving an impression on the coaching staff. Second_year linebacker Chris Winovich is developing into a team leader. Linebacker Josh Uche has shown he can make a solid contribution. And safety Kyle Duggar will compete for a starting spot next season.

The team finished 11th in the NFL last season. With the addition of Matt Patricia, the Patriot’s defense will be exciting to watch. With several holes to fill, this year’s draft will be interesting.

With ten draft picks available drafting defense, and a quarterback will be a priority. Players returning next season after opting out will be another issue. Linebacker Donta Hightower may retire. And Devin McCourty. Matt Patricia returning may prove significant with these decisions.

Excellent Working Relationship With Bill Belichick

During his 14 year tenure, Matt Patricia has shared brilliant success with Bill Belichick. Two Super Bowls were won under his leadership. A lot needs to be done in order to get back to Super Bowl _caliber.

New England has 60 million dollars in cap space available. Stopping the run was the club’s biggest weakness last season. If the Patriots spend their money wisely, the playoffs are possible.

Conclusion

The Patriots are at a crossroads. A well _thought game plan is a must this off _season. Step number one is a quarterback, Step number two is stronger defense, step number three is to get back to the Super Bowl.

Celtics Making A Statement In the NBA East

The Celtics are making a statement in the NBA East. Saturday the team learned Jayson Tatum needs quarantine for fourteen days. Tatum has been the team’s best player up until now. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the team still has a good chance to gain the first seed in the NBA East.

Payton Prtichard,/ Tacko Fall,/Robert Williams Contributing,Leading Celtics

With half the team sidelined, the Celtics are making a statement in the NBA East. With Jayson Tatum in quarantine, the club has gotten valuable contributions from all three. In a recent game rookie, Payton Pritchard scored the game_winner over Toronto. Center Tacko Fall brings a strong physical presence to the front line.

Rookie Payton Pritchard has started all ten games for the Celtics. Teammate Aaron Nesmith has also impressed the coaches with his shooting but has appeared in only 3 games. The young Celtics are playing at a high energy level. The club is tied for first place in the NBA East. Rookie Payton Pritchard has been one of the reasons for the team’s fast start.

Team Dealing With Multiple Coved Issues

Despite the club having multiple Coved issues, their record is 7-3. The club has been playing well at home and on the road. Point guard Kemba Walker is close to a return. He has been practicing with the team. Sophomore guard Romeo Langford continues to miss significant time.

First place Indiana, continues to stay ahead of second_ place Philadelphia and Third place Boston. If the Celtics hope to gain the first seed in the East then they need Kemba Walker and Tristan Thompson healthy.

Overall, Boston’s bench has kept them in the hunt. Center Tacko Fall has been impressive with his defense and shot _blocking.

Conclusion

With Jayson Tatum out, the Celtics will turn to Tacko Fall to get his minutes. The Celtics have Grant Williams, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, and Semi Ojeleye have all tested positive.

The team’s New year’s resolution is to stay healthy. For such a talented team as the Celtics, everybody needs to be healthy for a significant playoff run.