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. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality

    Bucs

    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]
  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'

    Blogs

    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'

    Bucs

    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings

    Bucs

    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.