Shrugs all around in the city that just celebrated the hundredth anniversary of baseball's most beloved structure. Shrugs in the deep contours of the old ballyard, too.
The Sox dropped their series-opening tilt with the Yankees 6-2 on Friday afternoon but although every loss to the Yanks hurts, this one happened to be the team's fourth straight defeat. After getting swept in a two-game set by the Rangers, the Sox were hoping that a nice off day on Thursday and a historic celebration in front of the home crowd would turn things around.
Nope. Not yet, at least.
"That's the million-dollar question, that's baseball," Cody Ross said when asked what was going on with the team lately. "Some days you come out and score a lot and some days you don't."
"We're a good team; we're just not playing good baseball," Adrian Gonzalez added. "It's frustrating the way we’re losing. We just need to pick it up and play better and I'm always bit on playing the game right. We just have to go out there and play the game right."
The Sox didn't get off on the right foot. In fact, things couldn't have started off any sloppier as Dustin Pedroia dropped a pop up and Clay Buchholz set the team back three runs after just two frames.
It's early in the season but the Sox know how important every win is. A trip to the postseason can come down to one win — or even half of a game. The squad is still waiting for a spark to get things moving in the other direction.
"It's funny you say that cause tomorrow we could go out and score 15 [runs] and no one is saying anything about," said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, when asked if this team needed a jumpstart. "We're not worried about it, we've been hitting the ball fine. Our pitchers are coming around and starting to throw the ball –- we have to look at the positive side of things and go out there and continue to play."
That spark didn't come in the form of Sox starter Clay Buchholz. The righty went just six-plus innings and allowed five solo homers on nine hits and two walks. The hurler didn't get into a groove and couldn't rely on his curveball and the Yanks jumped on it. Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin and Eric Chavez (twice) dropped bombs on Buchholz before his day was through.
"It's not as sharp as it normally is," Salty said of Buchholz’s curveball.
While it may be a cause for concern, the Sox starter does have a pretty deep arsenal of other pitches he should be able to rely on.
"We're trying to get ahead of hitters and use his fastball," the catcher said. "He's a guy that can throw sinker after sinker and throw groundballs, so you just have to get back online and keep going."
With a four-game losing skid heading into the weekend, the team might be pressing a little too hard for that all important next win.
"We're definitely trying to do too much," he added. "It's one of those things that comes up in situations that you want to do good and you definitely try a little too hard."
Over-try or not, the Sox will get a crack at turning things around in less than 24 hours as the two rivals will hit the 100-year-old (and one day) pitch on Saturday afternoon.