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 a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
For the third straight game, a Red Sox starting pitcher
failed to advance into the fourth frame.
Despite racking up six strikeouts through three innings,
Felix Doubront labored in Saturday's 7-1 loss to Oakland, walking two batters, surrendering
five earned runs and taking an early exit, like Zach Stewart and Aaron
Cook before him.
Between the fourth and fifth innings, an argument involving Alfredo
Aceves and Dustin Pedroia overshadowed the pitching woes. The dustup likely stemmed
from the fourth inning, when Aceves interfered with Jarrod Saltalamacchia's
attempt to catch a popup in foul territory.
Aceves wound up dropping the ball, and Pedroia confronted the reliever in the dugout afterward. The players exchanged words
before Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and third base coach Jerry Royster
"That's just Alfredo being Alfredo and Dustin being a
baseball player," Valentine told reporters.
But the sequence sums up the story of the Red Sox season. On one
hand, the team has fumbled away opportunities to win and
climb up the playoff standings time after time. In the process, frustration has continued to
mount on and off the field.
Aceves also showed some anger toward Valentine. Shortly after
the quarrel between his two players, Valentine gave Aceves a pat on the butt as a
supportive gesture, but the pitcher dismissively waved away the manager.
The tension comes just days after Aceves returned from a three-game
suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. When asked about Saturday's exchange
with Aceves by reporters in Oakland, Pedroia declined to divulge any
"That's none of your guys' business," the Red Sox
second baseman said. "That's between teammates."
Aceves echoed those thoughts.
"It was something we have to communicate on, but that's
us," the pitcher told reporters. "That stays with us. Part of the
game. Whatever happens in the game stays in the game."
The aggravation within the team is evident, however. Through
five games on the road trip, the Red Sox remain winless. And the team has taken
quite the beating during its West Coast swing against the Angels and Athletics,
getting outscored 48-13.
It also took
a bunt from Saltalamacchia to break up Oakland starter A.J. Griffin's perfect
game in the fifth inning, a move that earned him boos at the Coliseum. But that
play demonstrated the desperate state of Boston's offense at the moment.
the loss, the Red Sox are now 10 games below .500, the first time that's
happened since July 17, 1997.