With a 9-2 loss Saturday to the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox dropped their sixth game in a row. To try to arrest the team's slide, the Red Sox held a players-only meeting in the clubhouse, according to ace Chris Sale.
MLB.com's Ian Browne shared what was believed to be the meeting's general tone:
Sale had a day to forget, allowing eight earned runs in 3.2 innings. Things unraveled in the fourth inning as the Yankees put seven runs on the board.
Neither Sale nor Red Sox manager Alex Cora was happy with the performance of home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook.
Estabrook ejected Cora in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. He also ejected Sale after the pitcher had some words for him. Sale was on his way to the dugout anyway after being pulled from the game.
Were it not for the team's larger problems, the first half of Saturday's doubleheader could be chalked up as a bad day at the office.
But Boston is now 59-53, 12.5 games back of the first-place Yankees and 4.5 games off the final wild-card spot. FanGraphs gives the Red Sox a 30.6 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
Depending on your perspective, the Sox's losing streak is a reason the front office either should've done more before the trade deadline or was smart to avoid throwing good money at bad. Shoring up some of the roster holes—most notably the bullpen—might have given Boston a lift entering August. Still, the fact that Sale is enduring the worst year of his career sums up a season that might be doomed regardless.
A players-only meeting may help improve the atmosphere, but it isn't a magic wand that will make Sale pitch better or turn converted starter Nathan Eovaldi into a dominant closer.