BOSTON — The Red Sox’s story remains unchanged.
The Boston bats again were silenced Monday as the Chicago White Sox rolled to a 4-0 win at Fenway Park. The Sox fell to 1-6 on their current 10-game homestand and to 39-50 on the season, leaving those within the clubhouse walls feeling increasingly frustrated at this season’s developments.
“I think there’s a shared frustration. We all wear it. We win together. We lose together,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Monday’s loss. “I can tell you this, we didn’t give at-bats away tonight. First time we’ve seen (Scott Carroll) — that’s not an excuse — and yet you watch the effort that’s given in the batter’s box. Guys are putting together whatever at-bat they can on a given night, but he threw a lot of strikes, kept the ball down in the zone and stayed out of the middle of the plate.”
Carroll had all of two wins and 57 innings of major league experience before Monday, yet he completely shut down the Red Sox’s offense for 6 2/3 innings, offering even more evidence that Boston has fallen on hard times. The loss marked Boston’s ninth shutout defeat of the season, and their two hits matched a season-low for the third time in 2014.
“I walk in every night thinking that we’re going to put up an outing where we’re going to be in the ballgame, where we’ve got the ability to execute to create opportunities,” Farrell said. “That wasn’t the case tonight.”
This season is quickly slipping away from the Red Sox, who continue to receive solid starting pitching yet consistently struggle to score runs. Clay Buchholz surrendered two home runs in Monday’s loss but pitched pretty well for the most part, particularly later in the game after a shaky fourth inning allowed the White Sox to seize control.
“They’re veteran guys. They’ve pitched in situations where runs might be a premium,” Farrell said of the pressure that a lackluster offense places on starting pitchers. “I think they do a good job of separating the fact that they’re not the one that’s going up to hit. They know their job is to execute pitch to pitch. Everything else is out of their control.”
Buchholz was unwilling to answer questions about the offense after Monday’s loss. It makes sense given that he plays no part in that aspect of the game, but it was easy to detect some frustration in Buchholz and his teammates, who simply haven’t been able to find a winning formula during their World Series defense.
“Nobody wants to be 10, 11 games under .500. That’s definitely not anybody’s goal,” Buchholz said. “Like I said, when it snowballs on you a little bit, everybody wants to be the guy to break out of it. Every pitcher that starts a game wants to be the guy that doesn’t give up any runs and gives your team the best chance to win.
“I’m not saying that everybody’s doing that. But that’s sort of how it feels when you’re not on a good run. And obviously, we’re not on a very good run right now. Like I said, it’s not for a lack of trying. Everybody’s out there trying to do it. It’s just not happening.”
Several players frequently have attempted to simplify matters in the wake of each poor performance, and Monday was no different. There seemingly remains hope that things will click, albeit with a noticeable uptick in irritation based on the club’s lingering struggles.
“All you’ve got to do is play better,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “We only got two hits. Two hits isn’t going to win a lot of games.”