It may have been just one night, but when Dustin Pedroia went 5-for-5 with five RBIs and three taters on Thursday night in Colorado, Red Sox Nation was reminded just how good the scrappy two-bagger is.
Pedie's mile-high laser show not only propelled the Sox to a 13-11 extra-inning win over the Rockies, it bailed the squad out of a possible series sweep — not the most appetizing way to kick off a road trip.
Thursday's hitting clinic probably didn't surprise the everyday Sox fan. Pedroia gets his hits in bunches but isn't considered streaky by any means. It was his 11th multi-hit game this month after just six multi-hit games in May.
Although his batting average dipped a little when filling in at the No. 3 hole earlier this year, he still increased his slugging numbers, as he launched three homers and notched a 1.000 OPS in the six games he was bumped up to the three-slot.
Basically, he was doing whatever was asked of him, and doing it well — something the former AL MVP has been doing since taking over the No. 2 hole in the Sox lineup.
His dazzling glove work in the infield and mighty hacks at the dish have been consistent since Day 1. This year, he fell into a brief funk, but the kid has been keeping these Sox afloat in even the lowest of times.
Pedroia leads the team with 72 games played and 24 doubles. He is second only to Kevin Youkilis in runs scored with 52 and trails Adrian Beltre by eight base knocks for the team lead in hits with 86. His power numbers are right up there, too, as he has 46 RBIs (third most on the team) and 12 homers, which puts him just three behind David Ortiz for the team lead. With runners on base, Pedroia owns a .313 BA and a .946 OPS, so even if you missed Thursday night's late-game heroics, you know this guy's been clutch.
For a guy who has missed just two games this season and was reportedly been playing through an injured knee he suffered sliding into home at Detroit, Pedroia could easily be named the first half MVP of the Red Sox. To make matters more difficult, Pedie has been without the lethal jab of Boston's one-two, top-of-the-order combo in Jacoby Ellsbury.
Certainly, the cribbage-playing, first-year fathering, postgame quote machine isn't the only one getting it done at the dish. Youkilis is right up there in nearly every offensive category and has been spinning out yet another Gold Glove-caliber season at the bag. Ortiz has turned it on after a slow start and has appeared to have taken over his usual No. 3 spot in the order. Catcher Victor Martinez is quietly having an inspiring season — and an incredible month of June in which he's hitting .386 — after a very slow start. And who can overlook Marco Scutaro's tough task of filling in for Ellsbury at the top of the order? Scu-Scu-Scutaro has clearly earned this guy's vote.
Of course, you can't forget the pitching staff, where Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are battling it out for the nod in the AL All-Star Game.
So does Dustin Pedroia get your vote for first-half MVP of the Red Sox? If not, who would you give it to and why?
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