|Despite the performance of G-Flo, Red Sox feel pretty good about themselves||04.29.12 at 7:36 pm ET|
CHICAGO – The reaction to this 4-1 loss to the White Sox was different than most any other of the 11 losses this season.
After the initial jolt, supplied in large part by Chicago starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (who boasted a no-hitter with one out in the seventh inning), the feeling was primarily positive as the Sox head home one game under .500 instead of the six games under they left town at.
“This was a great road trip,” said newcomer Marlon Byrd. “We won a lot of games in a row. This last one, ran into some great pitching. G-Flow looked amazing out there. He’s a guy I came up with in Philly. I tip my hat to him. But this team can play. I’m excited to go back to Fenway and keep winning.”
Byrd’s perspective is an interesting one considering he not only wasn’t around for the early-season struggles, but he also doesn’t have any frame of reference when it comes to comparing anything that happened last season.
Judging by the outfielder’s post-game comments, his new team has left a solid first impression.
“The camaraderie,” said Byrd when asked what struck him about his new teammates over the past week. “This is a close-knit team. The chemistry is there. I came in and they welcomed me in with open arms. You can tell those guys are close.
“Whatever happened in September you can still tell this team is close, even with everything happening last year,” he added. “These guys laugh together and they hurt together. I want to be a part of that.”
Despite the latest loss, the stats are solid across the board for the road swing:
Offensively, the Sox finished the road trip with a .287 batting average (4th in majors over that span), 11 home runs (first), and 46 runs (first by 11 runs despite only scoring two combined the last two games).
The Red Sox pitchers finished the trip with a 3.19 ERA and .232 batting average against. They converted all four of their save opportunities, with the relievers allowing just two runs in 17 innings.
But, according to those in the Red Sox’ clubhouse who were packing up to head home, the most important takeaway is that they feel good about themselves again.
“We all are really confident in each other,” said Cody Ross. “I knew it would just take a good winning streak like we had to get back where we needed to be. We’re figuring ourselves, each individual guy, how we’re capable of doing stuff with certain guys — certain guys hitting and running, stealing. It’s starting to come together now. We’ve played, what, 21 games or so, and we’re starting to figure out our team. Hopefully now we can start rolling.”
“It’s great to go home,” Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “It’s always great to go home. Guys are playing their butt off. This was a tough seven days. We battled the travel, battled the weather. They’re a tough group.”
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