Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select the best Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
Whether it was in Boston or Anaheim, the Angels had their way. Each time they faced off over the past two weeks, the Red Sox failed to capitalize on their miscues and deliver the knockout blow.
In a series that was supposed to determine playoff positioning — at least on paper, in spring training — it wound up being a laugher for the Angels, who defeated the Red Sox in all six games they played this season.
In Thursday's 5-2 loss, the Red Sox succumbed to Angels starter Zack Greinke. Acquired at the trade deadline, Greinke finally gave his team the boost they needed, allowing just five hits and two runs over seven innings.
These days, the Red Sox are botching the spoiler role, an opportunity to deter opposing teams' postseason hopes. But by dropping six defeats to the Angels, the Red Sox single-handedly allowed them to re-enter the wild card race.
"We're going to have to reach deep and get on a streak," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said after the loss.
Heading into August, the Red Sox were presented with a chance. At the time, they were still in the mix of the wild card race and were primed to gain ground with a bevy of contending teams on the schedule.
The Angels were one of those teams. But a month later, Alfredo Aceves unraveled in a key save opportunity in Boston and the troubles snowballed as the Red Sox' offense experienced a power outage on the West Coast.
Despite throwing his third complete game of the season, Red Sox starter Jon Lester also struggled. The lefty surrendered nine hits and five runs to the Angels lineup that includes Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo.
"It's probably one of the best lineups in the American League, just for the simple fact they could do everything," Lester said. "They can hit and run. They can steal. They can score from first base on singles, on doubles. It's pretty impressive to see some of those guys run around the bases."
They ran circles around the Red Sox en route to a season sweep, dropping the Sox to eight games below .500.
They are in dire need of a streak — one to get them to a winning record, at the very least.