RED SOX- Now that the weekend series is overI can honestly say the highlight of this weekend's series at Fenway was Friday's pregame ring ceremony.
The ceremony featured members of the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox being awarded their rings, which also included a 'Boston Strong' insignia on the side and a Bearded Band of Brothers on the interior of the ring. On hand for the ceremony were Pedro Martinez representing the 2004 World Series Champs, Mike Lowell representing the 2007 World Series team, Ty Law, Teddy Bruschi and Troy Brown representing the Patriots Superbowl Champion teams, Mark Recchi of the Bruins most recent Stanley Cup Championship team and Leon Powe of the 2008 Celtics NBA Championship team. A moment of silence was held before the ceremony to mark the deaths of Boston firefighters- Edward Walsh and Michael Kennedy- who were killed in a Back Bay brownstone fire last week.
The Red Sox came into the weekend winning two straight against AL East foe Baltimore and Friday's game where it was tied 2-2 headed into the 9th inning, but offseason acquisition Edward Mujica came on in the top of the inning with a disastrous outing, surrendering four runs to propel the Brewers to a 6-2 lead before Francisco Rodriguez came out in the bottom of the 9th to retire the Sox in order to go on to win by a 6-2 final.
On Saturday, the Red Sox fared no better when they lost in 11 innings to the Brewers by a 7-6 final. Sunday was their last chance to avoid the sweep and stop the bleeding with Lester on the mound. However, Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers pen would shut out the Red Sox [Boston would strand 13 runners on base- NANESB!] and Milwaukee would ruin opening weekend for the Red Sox by sweeping the series, going on to win by a 4-0 final on Sunday.
The Red Sox will hope to rebound on Monday night when they host the Texas Rangers- the first AL opponent they will see in Fenway this season. John Lackey [1-0; 3.00 ERA] will get the start against Tanner Scheppers [0-0; 15.75 ERA] and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN as well as locally on NESN. First pitch from Fenway is scheduled for 7:10 ET.
BOSTON BRUINS- After the Detroit Red Wings handed the Bruins their first regulation loss in nearly a month on Wednesday night, the Bruins would lose to the Maple Leafs in OT on Thursday night before heading home for their next-to-last home game of the regular season on Saturday.
The Bruins headed into Saturday's game hoping to clinch the top overall spot in the Eastern Conference and deliver a blow to the Flyer's playoff hopes. David Krejci got the Bruins on the board with just over 4 minutes remaining in the first, but that was a prelude to wild second half in which the Flyers would get on the board with just under five and a half minutes to go in the second thanks to a Wayne Simmonds power play goal. However, the B's would come right back with a goal from Milan Lucic 20 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead. But in the closing seconds of the 2nd stanza, the Flyers would once again pull even with Jay Rosehill beating Rask with 21 seconds remaining.
However, the Bruins would take the lead for good in the third when they scored three unanswered goals (from Boychuck, Lucic and Kelly) to make it a 5-2 game. Tukka Rask made 24 saves on 26 shots faced while Ray Emery stopped 37 of 41 shots faced [Kelly's tally was an empty-netter which didn't count against Emery- NANESB!].
The Bruins will hit the road once again, this time to take on the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday and Thursday before heading back to the Garden on Saturday for the final home game of the regular season where they'll face the Buffalo Sabres. Tuesday night's game is scheduled to get underway at 8:00 ET and will be televised on NESN.
NCAA HOOPS- As you can probably figure out by what's absent from my blog this time of year, I haven't been into bracketology for awhile. But with March Madness whittled down to the final two- 2012 Champion Kentucky and UConn. The Huskies bested the Florida Gators to advance to the Men's final while the Wildcats squeaked by the Wisconsin Badgers in a one point game during the Final Four. Tipoff from Dallas is scheduled for 9:10 ET and the game will be televised on CBS.