Physical, Mental Fatigue From Losing Beginning to Wear on Red Sox' Play During Road Trip

Editor's note: 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 first time in nearly a week, the Red Sox received a strong pitching performance. But it was the offense and the defense behind the pitcher that were lacking in Monday's 4-1 loss in the series opener against the Mariners.

All the damage took place in the fourth inning. When Eric Thames belted one of Clay Buchholz's pitches into center field, Jacoby Ellsbury misfired on a throw to home plate and it resulted in one run.

But catcher Ryan Lavarnway could have fielded the ball better. To his credit, he accepted responsibility for the defensive miscue and even wished he had been charged for it on the scorer's card.

"I wish they'd given me that error," Lavarnway told reporters after the game. "I played it into an in-between hop. I need to go out there and smother it. … We need to be better. We can't feel sorry for ourselves."

The blemishes weren't just limited to Lavarnway and Ellsbury. Two batters later, shortstop Jose Iglesias — known as a defensive wiz — bobbled a routine grounder that would've started a double play.

In the process, the fourth and final run crossed home plate. The inning erased the Red Sox' first lead of the road trip, when Cody Ross ripped an RBI single in the first inning to drive in Dustin Pedroia.

Physical, Mental Fatigue From Losing Beginning to Wear on Red Sox' Play During Road TripThat was the only hint of offense the Red Sox contributed. Other than Pedroia — who collected his 1,000th career hit in this one — Ross, Mike Aviles and Ryan Kalish were the lone players to collect hits. Pedroia accounted for the lone extra-base hit.

"Guys are tired," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said afterward, referring to the team's physical and mental fatigue. "It's been a tough trip for them."

Seattle starter Jason Vargas took advantage of that, stifling the lineup and surrendering just six hits and no walks.

Amid the rubble, Buchholz was once again the bright spot. He became the second pitcher in the past week to advance past the fourth inning and alleviated the bullpen's burden by logging seven frames.

He allowed just three earned runs and struck out eight batters in that span.

"It's tough to deal with it, but it's a game," Buchholz told reporters. "Stuff happens."

And unfortunately for the Red Sox, it's happened for seven straight games.