This is not an easy time to be John Lackey. Last night against the Blue Jays, he submitted his fourth horrible start in seven tries, allowing nine runs on nine hits in 62/3 innings. His ERA rose to 8.01 and his record dropped to 2-5.

The first question of his postgame press conference was meant as an easy entree into the defeat: How did you feel about your performance?

"Come on, man," he snapped. "Ask a damn question."

It went downhill from there, with Lackey seemingly as frustrated as he's ever been in his Red Sox career.

"Everything went wrong that could go wrong," he said. "It's pretty much the story of the whole damn year."

That frustration again showed itself on the field, where Lackey grimaced after not getting borderline strike calls, yelled at himself after allowing big hits, and worst of all, gave the impression of showing up his teammates by throwing his hands up or his head back after failed plays in the field.

His teammates recognize he's a competitor, but those outbursts look bad.

"I've never seen him this focused, this determined," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia countered. "He wanted it. Every inning, he was talking to me, he was feeling good. The last few innings, things happened.

"I don't think it got to him. He's the same every time. He's passionate, he wants to get everybody out. When somebody walks, he's pissed, when he gives up a hit, he's pissed, same with everyone else."

Lackey managed to redefine ungracious by blasting the Jays' John McDonald — who homered and knocked him from the game with a two-run double in the seventh — when asked about his previous success against the infielder.