Jason Varitek was bothered by a sore right knee after he was hit by a pitch from the Yankees Ivan Nova on Sunday, but he was in the posted starting lineup. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was good to go, and so was Ryan Lavarnway.
Fast-forward to the scene postgame Monday, and the Red Sox were left to sort more carnage than just their season. Both Varitek and Saltalamacchia, a catching tandem who have been steady and healthy all season, are unknowns heading into play Tuesday, with the Sox's regular season reduced to two games by virtue of an American League Wild Card tie with the Rays.
For Game No. 161, it's possible that only Lavarnway and Exposito will be available to handle a struggling pitching staff.
"Getting hit or the loss?" said Saltalamacchia when asked how the sting was.
Saltalamacchia took a foul tip off his collarbone, closer to his non-throwing (left) side, in the eighth inning and had to be removed for Lavarnway. X-rays were negative, but the ball managed to find its way into a spot were protective equipment couldn't fully do its job.
"Yeah, he got whacked pretty good," Varitek said. "Foul tips hit you, there's been times that it hits you in weirder spots, you just can't do anything about it.
"I think it went through part of the chest protector ... it's just kind of angle the way it comes off, he was, turning, he was reaching for the ball."
While both players were hopeful they'd be available Tuesday, neither was sure.
"Yeah. I mean, I want to [play]," Saltalamacchia said. "I've just got to come to the field, get treatment and throw and see how it feels. Pretty sore right now. Hopefully it gets better overnight and come back tomorrow."
"Right now, I'm not going to tell you," Varitek said. "We've got two games, I'm not going to really give into what, just going to try to get ready to play."
Varitek was in the lineup Monday because he and the Sox were hopeful that he could catch Josh Beckett -- who had pitched to Saltalamacchia in-game just once before this season -- but Saltalamacchia and Beckett were both aware it was possible Varitek wouldn't be able to play. Beckett allowed six runs in as many innings.
"We were going to try and see, get treatment all day and just see what we could do," Varitek said. "So we both kind of warmed up. So Salty wasn't caught off-guard, we did it early enough to where that they could have time to settle in."