CLEVELAND -- The Red Sox didn't just lose the first two games of this American League Division Series. According to longtime leader Dustin Pedroia, they also lost their identity.The way Pedroia looks at it, if his team can get that back, perhaps they can make this a series (Game 3,
CLEVELAND -- The Red Sox didn't just lose the first two games of this American League Division Series. According to longtime leader Dustin Pedroia, they also lost their identity.
The way Pedroia looks at it, if his team can get that back, perhaps they can make this a series (Game 3, Monday at 6 p.m. ET on TBS).
"I think, coming into this series, we had a lot of guys the last couple of games feeling it out, everybody, me included," Pedroia said after Friday's 6-0 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field.
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"I think we lost who we are -- we're the Boston Red Sox," Pedroia added. "We need to go out there and play the game. We should dictate the tempo of the game and how everything should be played. The last couple of days, they did that and we didn't. We have to get to our workout [Saturday] and play pitch by pitch the next game and that's all we can do right now."
Game 3 is where the Red Sox will try to avoid getting swept and begin the quest of overcoming an 0-2 deficit.
In the history of ALDS play, five of the 28 teams who have trailed 0-2 have come back to win, including the Red Sox in 1999 and 2003.
Pedroia wasn't the only veteran leader of the Red Sox who was salty after Friday's game. David Ortiz doesn't want his career to end in a postseason sweep.
Told by a reporter that he looked "angry," Ortiz responded, "Should I be happy? We're getting our [butts] beat. Nothing to celebrate."
Ortiz and Pedroia are a combined 2-for-16 in the series. The young core also hasn't responded at the plate. Rick Porcello and David Price both turned in subpar outings. Pedroia even had a ground ball go through his legs in Game 2 for just his second error in 46 postseason games.
Are the Red Sox stunned by what the Indians have done to them?
"It's part of the game, man, but I know we're better than that," said Ortiz. "[We've] just got to come and play better."
How do the Red Sox revert to the team that won 93 games during the season, or better yet, the group that won 11 in a row in September?
"Just play," Pedroia said. "You just compete against the other team, that's it. All the other stuff, the information we get, everything, you have to throw out the window and play baseball. That's it. We've done it for 162 games plus these two, so it's a matter of competing and competing together."
Come Sunday, the Red Sox will at least have Fenway on their side.
"It will help quite a bit," said Jackie Bradley Jr.
But only if the Red Sox can also regain their level of execution on both sides of the ball.
"There's zero room for error," Pedroia said. "You have to play hard. You find out a lot about yourself and your team when you're in situations like this. I don't think anyone is ready to go home, that's for sure. We'll get to our workout [Saturday] and come out and play as hard as we can."
Pedroia also had a mathematical reminder.
"It's not over yet," Pedroia said. "They have to beat us three times, not two."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.