Despite loss, Sox aren't panicking
Boston confident Beckett, offense will prevail in Game 2
ANAHEIM -- Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay needed few words to sum up the Red Sox's performance in Game 1 on Thursday night.
"Four singles and three errors aren't going to win many games," Bay said. "We need more offense."
Bay spoke in the Red Sox's clubhouse after Angels pitchers John Lackey and Darren Oliver combined on a four-hit shutout and a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. It's the first time Boston was shutout in a playoff game since Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS against Orel Hershiser and the Indians. That ended a streak of 69 consecutive playoff games in which the Red Sox had scored.
The Red Sox go into Game 2 on Friday night with the mission of getting more runners on base, do something -- anything -- to manufacture some runs and trust in starter Josh Beckett.
"People forget that's a pretty good team we are facing," Bay said. "Nobody said it was going to be easy, but Josh is a pretty good guy to have on the mound tomorrow."
This is the sixth time this season that the Red Sox have been both held without a run and without an extra-base hit. They had three such losses to the Yankees. But this is the playoffs and this is only the fifth time in 150 playoff games that Boston has been shut out.
The Red Sox were playing for the first time in four days, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia thought that played into it on Thursday night.
"We've got to have better at-bats," Pedroia said. "Early in the game we were a little rusty. We had three days off and our timing was off. Later in the game we were having better at-bats, and hopefully tomorrow we can continue that."
The Red Sox were second in the AL in extra-base hits this season, but the big bats in the middle of the lineup -- Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Bay -- were 1-for-14 on the night. Ortiz was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
The Red Sox also had just two innings where they were able to get the leadoff hitter on base and they were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. By every measuring stick, Boston needs to be better on Friday night against Angels starter Jered Weaver.
"We just need to keep going out there, have good at-bats and manufacture runs anyway we can," Youkilis said.
A few walks would help. The Red Sox were also second in the AL in walks this season, but they drew just one walk on Thursday night. Boston was 8-12 this season in 20 games in which it drew one or no walks.
"If you don't have much experience in these things, you might panic after a loss like this," Bay said. "But we have way to much experience. We go out with the attitude of playing a baseball game with no undue pressure. But if we can come in here to the other team's park and split two games, that would be pretty good."
The three errors were also unsightly for a team that committed 86 errors in the regular season, third-fewest in the AL.
"We have to come out and play a lot better," Pedroia said. "But you don't lose one game and the series as well. You don't want to get down 2-0 in a short series. But if we can come back tomorrow and win, we'll be fine."
Said outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, "If we get one tomorrow and go back to Boston tied, everybody will be satisfied. We've just got to do better at the plate. We've been down before; these guys know how to respond."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.