Recently, when Red Sox manager Terry Francona attempted to give Dustin Pedroia a day off, the unfiltered second baseman jokingly said he would "kill" Francona.
The ploy worked. Pedroia was put in the lineup and played the first 30 games this season. But after another woeful night at the plate in Wednesday night's (Thursday morning's?) extra-inning loss to the Angels, it was time.
Pedroia will begin this game on the bench following an 0-for-6 effort in which he struck out a career-high four times.
Francona was asked in the mid-morning hours Thursday about Pedroia's night, saying only that "he was frustrated tonight."
Overall, Pedroia is 6-for-50 (.120) with an uncharacteristic 13 strikeouts since April 22. All four of his strikeouts on Wednesday were swinging, continuing a trend that has dogged him in 2011 — Pedroia's contact rate is down nearly 11 percent from his career norms.
Carl Crawford, who is 7-for-17 (.412) in May, will bat in Pedroia's No. 2 spot in the lineup.