ROUGH FIRST IMPRESSION
|Making his fifth appearance since joining the Red Sox on July 31, veteran reliever Eric Gagne has a 15.75 ERA. In Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Orioles, the veteran allowed a two-run homer to Miguel Tejada in the eighth inning.|
But Gagne's implosion all but doomed the Red Sox, and Millar's blast dropped Boston to 4-5 on its nine-game road trip."It's a long season, a marathon season," Snyder said. "We've got to come together. It's not one person's fault in this locker room. I think everybody in here is accountable. We take responsibility for ourselves, and there isn't a single person in here pointing fingers at anybody." Schilling had similar thoughts about the struggles of his fellow hurlers. "It happens -- this is the big leagues," Schilling said. "Sometimes it just snowballs a little bit. But [Gagne's] going to be an essential part of us winning a World Series, if that happens. So you take it for what it's worth, and he'll be right back out there next time, doing what he can do. You can't allow one or two outings to shape your mentality, [individually] or as a club. "His stuff looks good, but unfortunately, when you make mistakes in the seventh, eighth and ninth [innings], they get magnified. We're not giving him a lot of room to breathe, and either way, we're not putting people away like we can and have in the past. So there's a smaller margin for error." The loss seemed even more disconcerting because of the recent stellar play of the Yankees, who won on Sunday and are 23-8 since the All-Star break. When the Red Sox left for their three-city tour on Aug. 3, they held an eight-game lead in the American League East. Now, that lead is down to four games, their slimmest advantage since May 2. "[The Yankees are] playing a whole lot better than we are right now, it's that simple," Schilling. "They're winning, and we're not. But the answers are here in this room, and we're going to find them." Gagne may be the one to take the lead in the team's search for answers. "Whatever is wrong, I've got to change it," he said. "I cost us two ballgames. You can't do that. I feel like I'm letting everybody down."
Geremy Bass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.