Pedroia and crutches, not the best sight.
When the week started, Boston Red Sox fans were getting excited about the fact that we had comeback from eight games down in May to within striking distance of the AL East lead. We were tied with the Tampa Bay Rays in the wildcard and were only one game back of the New York Yankees after sweeping both the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers.
Now, one week later, we are just hoping that by this time next week, the Boston Red Sox roster doesn’t look more like the Pawtucket Red Sox roster.
It started with a rematch of the 2007 World Series in Colorado against the Rockies that wasn’t nearly as successful as that particular World Series. The Red Sox dropped the first two games of that series, a 2-1 pitchers duel on Tuesday night and a Papelbon blown save on Wednesday night. Finally, on Thursday they were saved by one of the more consistent Red Sox of the 2010 season as Dustin Pedroia’s three home-run game propelled them to 13-11 extra innings victory.
Then the Sox pulled into a weekend series in the Bay Area against the San Fransisco Giants and shit quickly hit the fan. Saturday saw the least terrible of the terrible news of the week as Clay Buchholz pulled up lame running from first to second. A year ago if you told me that Clay Buchholz would still be on the Red Sox roster and would be arguably their best pitcher, I would have probably punched you in the face and told you to get off whatever drugs you were on. Now, he’s the Red Sox win leaders, starters ERA leader and second among starters in WHIP and Strikeouts. Without him and Jon Lester, this starting staff is not among the top staffs in the league. The injury is a hyper extended knee which will probably keep out of some starts. Hopefully, Clay will only miss a start or two before getting back into the groove.
The biggest issue for the Boston Red Sox came up during Friday night’s game. In the third inning, Dustin Pedroia fouled a ball off his foot. You see these kinds of things all the time. A lot of times, the player will have a nasty bruise on his foot, miss a couple of games, and come back like nothing happened. No, instead the baseball gods decided for some unknown reason to punish us and instead break Dustin Pedroia’s foot.
Too say that this is a major loss is an understatement. Hitting wise, Dustin Pedroia has been one of our most consistent hitters. He’s hit .292 with a .370 OBP and 41 RBI’s. Dustin Pedroia also has been a top defensive player on the Red Sox and has been one of the healthiest Red Sox of the last three years. Him, Youkilis and Beltre have been the three best and most consistent Red Sox hitters all season. Saying that losing Dustin Pedroia is a major blow is an understatement.
What also kills the Red Sox is the fact that because the Pedroia has been one of the healthier Red Sox the past few seasons, they are inadequately prepared to handle a Pedroia injury. They played utility player Bill Hall at 2B on Saturday but he’s not really a replacement as much as he is a stopgap. The trade for A’s utility player Eric Patterson doesn’t really help either as he is basically is Bill Hall except with a different name.
The biggest relief about the injury? We didn’t have an Al “Burn in Hell” Reyes moment. If you remember, Al Reyes was the guy who hit Nomar on the wrist and Nomar’s career was never the same. Dustin Pedroia has always reminded me of Nomar. That same hard swing, a pretty good defender, and a fan-favorite in Boston. Could you imagine if Pedroia just broke his wrist? His career would probably never be the same either. I guess thank god he broke his foot. If Michael Jordon had the same injury, Dustin Pedroia could probably recover from it as well, just hopefully in a timely manner.
It’s a huge blow for a team just hitting its stride. Now, the Red Sox are just going to have to hope that they can just ride out the storm and stay in the playoff race until we get Pedroia back. Hopefully Youkilis, Beltre, Ortiz, Martinez can step their games up on the offensive side. It’s all hands on deck for the Boston Red Sox and they need to play well over the next month to say right up there in the playoff race.