I said earlier this year on Twitter that as Pedroia goes, so to will the Red Sox this season. And I still stand by that in spite of Elsbury's resurgence, Lowry's return after a year of battling a horrible illness and the arrivals of messieurs Crawford and Gonzalez. It's because Pedroia is the heart and soul of this Red Sox team (with a little bit of help from Youkilis).
For anyone who watched last night's game versus the Halos, you got the feeling that this game meant more than some of the other 27 games the Sox had previously played. No, this wasn't the Yankees but this was the Angels and more importantly, it was Jered Weaver. Yes, the same Jered Weaver that was attempting to break a 120 year old record by going 7-0 by May 2. Up until the 5th inning, it looked like Weaver might just break good old Sadie McMahon's record. A combination of good pitching by two young studs in Buccholz and Weaver -- neither of whom had brought their A game but both of which whose B+ game was better than most mere mortals and some stellar defense pointed toward a low scoring game.
Four pitches and nine minutes later, Pedey sent a seeing eye single up the middle and could be seen yelling, "YEAH... F@CK YEAH!" as he raced to first. Two runs scored and the Sox took the lead for good on their way to a 9-5 romping of their favorite whipping boy. Even better, the Sox bats exploded in the 7th demonstrating some of the power we were hoping for in the offseason, punctuated with a towering home run over the Green Monster by Big Papi. All was right in the universe again.
Two other VERY important notes that I am compelled to mention:
- ONe of the main reasons this at bat was so clutch was that it drove Weaver's pitch count well up over 100, a critical part of the Sox's winning the game.
- Alex Gonzalez made on of the ballsiest (and arguably the second most important) plays of the game by fielding a scorcher in the top of the 6th and gunning out Torii Hunter at 3rd on a bang bang play to keep the Angels from evening up the game right after the Sox took the lead.
Props to MLB Gameday for the screenshots.