Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Even for Red Sox, it's 'hit the panic button'

BOSTON — On Monday night, "panic" was overstating it. After another blowout loss that dropped them one game from elimination in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, "panic" was about right, second baseman Dustin Pedroia said.

"I don't think you need to be loose. What do you need to be loose about?" he said when asked if the defending world champions were tight. "We're down 3-1, and if we lose, we're going home. Hit the panic button. That's it."

The Red Sox outwardly never expected the task of swatting the Rays from the path of a second consecutive trip to the World Series to be easy.

The Rays won the season series 10-8 and took two of three in a late-season series at Tropicana Field to hold onto the AL East lead. And the playoff newcomers had maintained focus even when their play could have generated self-doubt.

But this is a Red Sox club that came back from 3-1 down in the ALCS to Cleveland last year to win three straight and sweep Colorado — another out-of-nowhere story — in the World Series.

This is a franchise that trailed the Yankees 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS and rallied to reach the World Series and win it.

Captain Jason Varitek suggested there would be a speech on Thursday before Game 5 and that he would make it. It was odd, however, for Varitek to suggest this version of the Red Sox needed more crowd support to pull off another comeback. Fenway Park has been gut-punched with early Rays rallies in Games 3 and 4.

"It doesn't hurt our team to have some faith," he said. "We need to find a way to get our crowd involved, get our fans involved and come out there and be ready to play."

They won't be around much longer, however, if their key hitters do not begin producing.

Cleanup man David Ortiz, whose postseason exploits are legendary in Boston, collected his first hit after going 14 postseason at-bats (including all of the ALCS) without one. Ortiz jokingly but assertively shut down any questions about possible frustration Sunday and whether the wrist injury, which cost him almost a third of the season, is still affecting him.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis said there was no deeper impact in losing the first two games at Fenway Park by a combined 17 runs.

"I wouldn't say shell-shocked. It's just baseball," he said. "The Yankees were crushing us before. It doesn't matter how much you win by. It doesn't matter how much you lose by. A win is a win and a loss is a loss right now. You just come out and play."

Better, and soon.

Even for Red Sox, it's 'hit the panic button' 10/14/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.