Even Dustin Pedroia isn’t immune to the Boston Red Sox’s offensive woes.
Pedroia’s numbers this season are rather pedestrian, especially by his standards, leading many to wonder if there’s something physically wrong with the All-Star second baseman. Pedroia insists he’s healthy, however, and the veteran thus is looking to simplify things in an effort to combat his struggles.
“I started to feel better, and the results weren’t there (on the Red Sox’s most recent homestand),” Pedroia said this week on WEEI.com’s “The Bradfo Show” podcast. “And I think that’s the part that’s frustrating. But when you’re going good, you’re taking your approach into the game, trying to see the ball and putting your swing on it. You’re not thinking too much about anything. You’re not thinking about, ‘I’ve got to get a hit.’ You’re trying to put a swing on it, see the ball. Kind of carefree.
“Trying to get back to that. See the ball, let your ability take over, and that’s all you can do. That’s what gets you out of not hitting the ball well or not doing what you do.”
Pedroia is hitting just .262 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 78 games this season. His on-base percentage (.334) and slugging percentage (.372) both sit at career lows, and pitchers appear to be having success attacking Pedroia on the outer half of the plate.
So what gives?
Well, according to Pedroia, nothing really. The 30-year-old thinks pitching is better across Major League Baseball now than when he won the American League MVP award in 2008, but he still feels like a hot streak is coming.
“It’s only a matter of time,” Pedroia told The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy before Friday’s 6-0 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. “Obviously when you don’t win and you don’t swing the bats well as a team, I put that on me. David (Ortiz) does, too.”
“I’ve hit the ball fine,” Pedroia added. “Right at people, man. I had three replay home runs that weren’t. That’s seven. People don’t know that. They just look at the overall numbers and say, ‘This guy stinks.’ Well, the reality is, the storm’s coming.”
The Red Sox certainly need the storm to arrive, as Boston now sits eight games below .500 at 36-44. Friday’s 6-0 loss in the Bronx marked the seventh time this season the Red Sox have been shut out, and Pedroia, who has been Boston’s biggest spark plug for years, again failed to help the cause with an 0-for-4 effort.
Just don’t expect Pedroia to change his ways while attempting to turn his season around.
“I’ll be the same player that I am — the same player that you’ve seen — until I’m dead, OK?’’ Pedroia said before Friday’s game. “That’s basically the bottom line.”
The Red Sox need that intensity. And right now, they need Pedroia — and everyone else — to start hitting, too.