You Stay Classy, Dustin Pedroia
The Boston Red Sox, despite being heavily favored, were swept out of the American League Division Series by the Angels this past weekend. Boston scored one run combined over the first two games of the series, and then proceeded to blow a 6-2 lead over the final two innings of the series-clinching Game 3.
Dustin Pedroia took the loss in stride like a man, by blaming the loss on Boston’s inability to get big hits and the similar inability to put Anaheim’s betters away late in games.
Instead, Pedroia decided to rip the Boston grounds-crew for the problems that the Red Sox ran into in Boston for Game 3.
In the eighth inning, with runners on first and second, and one out, the slow-footed Kendry Morales hit a hard grounder toward the hole between first and second.
Pedroia hustled to his left, but the ball bounced up on him. He could only knock it down and throw Morales out at first. Both runners then scored on Juan Rivera’s single.
Two costly runs that Pedroia knows would not have scored if he fielded the grounder cleanly.
“It took a bad hop,” Pedroia said. “Our infield (stinks). It’s the worst in the game.”
“I’m not lying about that. That is true. I think about those things. That stuff upsets me,” Pedroia said. “My job is to take 1,000 groundballs a day. Other guys’ job is to get the field perfect so we can play baseball.”
I guess Pedroia had already fielded his 1,000 groundball-quota before Morales’ innocent grounder in the eighth inning and was therefore unable to field the 1,001st one cleanly.
There’s no mention in his little hissy fit that the Angels’ second baseman, Howie Kendrick, had no problem fielding his position on the worst infield in the game. It’s good to know that in order for Pedroia to perform as he’s paid to do, every possible aspect needs to be perfect.
In his next contract, I think it may be beneficial for Pedroia to work in clauses that prohibit him from playing if the weather isn’t to his liking, if the infield grass isn’t properly watered or if the opposing team isn’t setting the ball up on a tee for him.
A bad hop (which happen regardless of infield quality) didn’t lose the series for the Red Sox. They were heartily outplayed over the course of three games in every aspect. Boston’s supposed pitching advantage didn’t show as Jon Lester and Josh Beckett were unable to deliver lockdown performances they’ve had in the past.
The Boston offense, outside a Victor Martinez RBI single was non-existent for the first two games. And Boston’s unhittable playoff closer, Jonathan Papelbon was touched up for three runs on four hits and a pair of walks in an inning of work. Pedroia didn’t do much to cure Boston’s offensive doldrums, collecting a single and a double in twelve at-bats. He drove in a pair of runs and scored one during Boston’s three consecutive losses.
So the Angels, who outworked, outhustled and all-around outplayed the overconfident Boston club will move on to take on the Yankees in this week’s American League Championship Series.