BOSTON -- The mood inside the Red Sox clubhouse after Monday night's 16-5 blowout loss to the Rays was what one would expect -- uncomfortably quiet and with few players sticking around to dissect the damage.
As reporters began to circle around Dustin Pedroia, the stand-up second baseman simply said, “I got nothing.”
This game needed little explanation.
Starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka imploded, never giving the Red Sox a chance, and the club slipped to 2-8 as it was unable to build on the momentum of pitcher Josh Beckett’s sensational Sunday night outing against the Yankees.
For whatever strides the Red Sox made Sunday night, they were right back where they started Monday, and the frustration was evident with the few players who stuck around the clubhouse.
“We really haven’t jelled as a team,” said relief pitcher Dan Wheeler, who was knocked around for four runs in the ninth inning. “That’s the thing, we have such a great group in here, we’re going to keep battling, coming in every day and grinding it out, and making sure we turn that corner.”
The Red Sox turn to ace Jon Lester to get them back on track Tuesday.
“It’s frustrating as a team,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who felt Matsuzaka got into trouble in a six-run second inning by leaving his change-up too high in the strike zone. “We took the series from the Yankees and we wanted to keep that going. We’re going to have to forget about [this loss], come back [Tuesday], and have Johnny pitch a good game.”
Still, Saltalamacchia acknowledged that giving up 16 runs to a Rays team that scored 20 in its first eight games was a surprise.
“We know there are going to be nights like that [but] at the same time, we were feeling good about the Yankees series, and we weren’t expecting that,” he said.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez said the focus is on taking the next two games from the Rays.
“If we win tomorrow and Wednesday, we can still win the series,” he said, before focusing on the big picture. “We’re four, five games back in the division, and last I remember there were a lot of teams that have came back in September being four, five games back. We’re still in April.”