Friday, August 12, 2011

Sports Chowdah Update- More than One Way To Skin a Cat: Pats Dominate Jags In Preseason Opener, Sox Sink Mariners in SafeCo Series Opener;

NFL: After much consternation and legal wrangling in the offseason, the NFL's preseason kicked off on Thursday night with a slate of games across the country, including Foxborough.

Tom Brady was the spectator for all of Thursday's matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gilette, with former Michigan State undrafted free agent Brian Hoyer calling plays for the first half and New England's 3rd round draft pick from Arkansas, Ryan Mallet, making the most of his time in the 2nd half.

Although Jacksonville got on the board first with a pair of field goals (one from Scobee and one from Swank, the Patriots would take the lead for good starting with a short TD run from RB Stevan Ridley. The Pats would have a 19-9 lead by halftime, and score two more touchdowns before Jacksonville even got on the board in the second half.

New England pretty much wins this one going away by a 47-12 margin. In the first half, Brian Hoyer went 15 for 21 with 171 yards and a TD while Ryan Mallet went 12 for 19 with 164 yards in the second half and one TD.

Next week, the Patriots will travel to Raymond James stadium in Tampa, FL to take on the Buccaneers for week 2 of the NFL preseason. Kickoff will be 7:30 PM ET.

OTHER PATRIOTS NEWS: Guard Logan Mankins and the club agreed to terms on a contract extension this week after acrimonious negotiations in the offseason. The deal is for 6 years and could reportedly be worth as much as $51 million.

The deal was made a few days after defensive end Shaun Ellis departed the New York Jets after 11 seasons and signed a one-year contract with New England. The two-time pro bowler had 36 tackles and 4 and a half sacks last season.

RED SOX: After taking two out of three from the Minnesota Twins in Target Field (where Wakefield missed another opportunity for win #200), the Red Sox travelled to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Mariners in a 3 game series this weekend.

John Lackey had something of a rough start, giving up two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but was eventually able to settle down and get some run support as the game went on. David Ortiz started off the Sox offense with a solo homer, followed by a Mike Aviles RBI sac-fly in the top of the 2nd.

Trailing by a 4-3 margin in the top of the 6th, Josh Reddick put the Sox up for good with a booming 2 run homer and Big Papi provided some insurance in the form of an RBI single in the top of the 7th. Papelbon allowed a 2 out baserunner but was able to close out the game, giving Boston the 6-4 win over Seattle.

The two teams will go right back at it tomorrow night with Felix Hernandez (10-10; 3.31 ERA) going up against Josh Beckett (9-4; 2.17 ERA) at 10 PM Eastern, 7 Pacific. On Sunday, Tim Wakefield will try and reach the 200 career win milestone.

Third Baseman Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch from Friday night's game reportedly due to stiffness in his back.

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