It's been a long time since I've walked into the Red Sox clubhouse after a game and found it like it was tonight.
Silent and solemn.
It was something we saw a lot of at the end of last season, especially during that sapping Yankees series. Especially when the team was really out of contention. But with all the winning this season, it's never really been an issue. Until this stretch, the team had only lost two straight (three times) -- hardly even a losing streak.
Not anymore. There seems to be a different feeling, or at least there was after last night's 3-2 loss to Oakland.
"Intensity, all kinds of stuff, it's just not there," David Ortiz said. "Hopefully we'll come back tomorrow, figure things out."
With four straight losses overall, and three in Oakland, the Red Sox are certainly in a tough stretch. The travel schedule didn't help -- late ESPN game on Sunday, flying all night to the West Coast -- and now the team is having trouble offensively. Even with three good starts from Julian Tavarez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield, the team hasn't been able to pull out the kinds of games that seemed almost natural wins earlier in the season.
Frustration was apparent in this one, with Ortiz vociferously arguing a call, and Terry Francona getting tossed for the first time this season. Even Wakefield admitted to being upset in the seventh inning when Mark Ellis made no move away from a curveball that hit him in the shoulder.
The good news for the Red Sox is that Curt Schilling starts tomorrow's game. After each losing streak this season previous to the current one -- yes, all three of them -- Schilling has been the starter in the win that ended the mini-skid.
That task, again, falls to him tomorrow.
We'll let you know what happens.
(It's a day game, obviously, a 3:35 p.m. Eastern start, so I'll be blogging as much as I can for all you office-bound blog faithful. I'm expecting lots of clicks, so don't disappoint me. We'll try to work in draft updates, if we can get them, as well.)