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Mitch's Sports Report: Patriots Keep Winning No Matter Who's At QB; Red Sox Sweep O's

They won two games with their second string quarterback and now they've won a third with their third stringer. It's time to face facts, haters. It almost doesn't mater who you put in back of center, the New England Patriots are a really good football team led by the league's best coach.

Last night in Foxboro rookie Jacoby Brissett, replacing the injured Jimmy Garoppollo, who'd been replacing the suspended Tom Brady, played a mistake free game, rushed for a 27-yard touchdown, his first career TD, threw for 103 yards and led the Patriots to a 27-0 win over the Houston Texans to keep the Pats perfect on the season at 3-0.

No word yet on whether Roger Goodell wants an investigation into whether the spikes on the Patriots' cleats were a quarter inch sharper than the other team's, but we'll have to wait and see. And before anyone dismisses the victory as beating up on a bad team, the Texans entered the game at 2-0 and with the league's third ranked defense, but they couldn't stop LaGarrette Blount, who ran for two touchdowns and 105 yards on the night, and they had no answer for the Patriots defense, which forced three turnovers, one on an interception by Jamie Collins, and two on kickoff return fumbles. If the Pats can win game four, there actually might be some pressure on Brady when he returns from the vendetta, um, sorry, I mean, suspension against him in game five, but I'm fairly certain he'd be more than happy to come back with his team 4-0 and lots of high expectations from the fan base.

Speaking of high expectations, the Boston Red Sox have now completed back to back four game sweeps of two A.L. east rivals, after toppling the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 at Camden Yards last night. The Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead early but it looked like it might not be their night when rookie Trey Mancini took David Price deep for a three run homer in the third to tie things up, but rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi put Boston up for good with a two out RBI single in the 5th, and the red hot Hanley Ramirez added a solo home run, his 29th of the year, in the 6th. Koji Uehara is back to his old reliable self and pitched a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel put down the birds 1-2-3 in the ninth for his 29th save of the year. The Orioles can pretty much give up on any hopes of the division title, which was not the case when this series began, and in fact, the birds would be out of the playoff picture if the post-season started today because with the loss they drop a half game behind the Detroit Tigers for the second available wild card spot. The Red Sox magic number for clinching the division is now five, just one year after they finished in the basement.

The Sox are off to Tampa Bay tonight to face the Rays, who dealt a blow to the playoff aspirations of the NY Yankees with a 2-0 shutout of New York last night. Frustrating night for the Yanks, who left eleven men stranded on base and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position thanks to a stellar outing by Blake Snell, who bent issuing three walks but never broke, allowing just five hits on the night. The math is not good for the Yankees. They trail Detroit by three games for a wild card and they also have Seattle, Houston and Baltimore ahead of them with ten games left to play.

But that other New York team, the Mets? Well, they're the kitten on that "Hang In There, Baby" poster. They trailed the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 going into the bottom of the ninth at Citi Field but got a game tying home run from Jose Reyes, to force extra innings, and then fell behind again 8-6 in the eleventh but rallied for three runs in the bottom of the frame to win the crazy thing 9-8 on a three-run drive by Asbrudal Cabrera, sending the crowd in Queens into a frenzy. Every game is huge down the stretch for the Mets, locked in a drum-tight battle with San Francisco and St. Louis for one of two wild card spots, and with the dramatic double comeback win last night the Mets now have a half game lead over the Cards and are tied with the Giants.

Finally, talk about going out with a whimper, despite having a coach known for his volatile temper in John Tortorella.Team USA is out of the World Cup of Hockey tournament after losing to the Czech Republic 4-3 in a consolation game last night. The U.S. went 0-3 in the three games they played, turning in one of the most disappointing performances ever by a national hockey squad.

And one local note this Sunday the Division 1 senior mens' baseball league championship game takes place with the Burlington Cardinals taking on the Montpelier Monties at Recreational Field in Montpelier at 2:30. Former Red Sox great Bill Lee will be throwing for Burlington, and the Queen City's own mayor Miro Weinberger will be his catcher. Should be a barn burner if you want to go check it out. The division two tile game starts at 11.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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