It wasn't just that the Boston Red Sox fell to one of the league's worst teams Saturday. It was how sloppy and lifeless they looked while doing so.
Saturday's 10-1 loss to the Texas Rangers, who are 43-80 on the season, marked Boston's fourth loss in their last five games. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez lasted only 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits before being relieved by Hirokazu Sawamura.
Things didn't get any better from there. The Red Sox offense only was able to notch one run against Rangers starter Jordan Lyles, who's allowed the second-most home runs in MLB this season (31). The defense committed a laughable five errors.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn't hold back when discussing the miserable performance.
“Embarrassing is the word,” Cora told reporters after the game. “And it starts from me. Five errors, we didn’t run the bases well, we didn’t put good at-bats. We didn’t pitch. In this thing, it’s a team effort, it starts with us, it starts with the coaches to keep coaching. We’ve been playing sloppy ball for a while and they keep doing it. So at one point, we’ve got to be accountable, too.
“That was embarrassing today. It’s not acceptable. For a team that’s fighting for the playoffs to show up like that and play like that, it’s not acceptable. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose the game, it’s how you win or lose the game and that’s not acceptable.”
Cora didn't mince words when talking about Rodriguez's performance, either.
“There’s not much to talk about him,” Cora said. “He wasn’t able to put people away. He didn’t give us enough innings for us to win the game.”
With Saturday's defeat, the Red Sox continue to see their playoff hopes fade away. They currently sit in third place in the American League East, trailing the Tampa Bay Rays by 6.5 games. If the season ended today, they would miss the postseason and the New York Yankees would host the Oakland Athletics in the wild card game.
Boston has 37 games remaining on its regular-season schedule, so they're running out of time to turn things around. Monday's finale vs. the Rangers, followed by series against the lowly Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians, will be pivotal.