Sloppy Sox are officially skidding

Sloppy Sox are officially skidding
August 17, 2013, 12:15 am
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BOSTON – Perhaps it’s fatigue. Perhaps it’s the dog days. Perhaps it’s being on essentially the fourth leg of a six-city road trip -- despite having three-games at Fenway Park this weekend.
 
Whatever the reason, the Red Sox are playing some of their most lackluster baseball of the season. Friday’s 10-3 loss to the Yankees was just the latest example. They have now lost six of their last eight games, and three straight, matching their longest losing streak of the season for a fifth time, and their longest since dropping three straight from July 6-8.
 
The seven-run loss was the biggest margin of defeat since losing 11-4 on July 8 to the Mariners, and their most in a home games since May 23, when they fell 12-3 to the Indians.
 
It was the first time they had allowed 10 or more runs at Fenway since that May 23 loss, snapping a steak of 36 straight home games giving up nine or fewer runs, their longest since a 40-game stretch from May 10 – Aug. 13, 2011.
 
In the loss to the Yankees on Friday, the Sox committed three errors, matching a season-high for the sixth time, and twice in the last three games.
 
Stephen Drew in the second inning, Rubby De La Rosa in the sixth, and Dustin Pedroia in the eighth were responsible for the errors. Only Drew’s error led to runs being scored.
 
“Yeah, we weren’t sharp tonight,” said manager John Farrell. “Set the tone right out of the game with some mislocated pitches [by starter Felix Doubront]. I thought Felix gets a good sinker where he gets  a ground ball to Stephen  and big swing of the game because it goes from what you think a tailor-made double play to the next hitter [Alfonso Soriano] driving the ball out of the ballpark [for a two-run home run] and we’re down big at the point. So yeah this wasn't one of our more sharp efforts.
 
“It’s not been common, and of late [the errors have] come in bunches. Whether there’s some fatigue setting in with some guys in their legs, I think defensively you’re going to go through stretches much like we do offensively.”
 
Farrell, though, said he is not overly concerned about his team’s recent stretch, losing six of eight, comparing it to a stretch in early May when the Sox lost nine of 11, struggling with runners in scoring position both times.
 
“Where we created a number of opportunities that we didn’t cash in on and I kind of look at it in the same vein,” he said. “We’re not going to make wholesale changes. We have to continue to go about our approach and that’s been proven to be successful over the course of the long run. So we’ve got to stay with our day-to-day approach.”
 
The Red Sox went 4-6 on their just-completed three-city trip to Houston (2-1), Kansas City (1-3), and Toronto (1-2). They host the Yankees for three before leaving for the West Coast on Monday, where they will face the Giants and Dodgers for three games each.
 
With the Rays beating the Blue Jays on Friday, the Sox lead in the division is down to one game.
 
“We’re just not playing well,” said David Ortiz.
 
“I don’t know [if we’re tired]. Just one of those funks that we’re working through.”
 
“I really didn’t know that,” Pedroia said, when asked if the team is out of sync. “We’re just trying to show up and win games. Sometimes you don’t. They swung the bats well tonight. Tomorrow we’ll get after it.”
 
He is not overly concerned about the errors that were committed on Friday.
 
“They happen,” said Pedroia, who was charged with his fourth error of the season. “The play Rubby made is a ball on the line, tough throw. My error, [Brett] Gardner’s running 3.7 down the line, and I got an in-between hop. And Stephen’s ball was hit real hard and just lost in the transfer. That’s baseball. Those aren’t mental mistakes. Those are physical errors. Those happen. Move on to tomorrow and try to play better.”