Editor’s note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine’s words. Each game day, we will select the best Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
When Scott Podsednik was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the MLB trade deadline, it was but an afterthought for the Red Sox. But now it seems that the utility outfielder is much more than just an extra body.
Podsednik hadn’t appeared in a major league game since June 17 before the deadline trade that brought reliever Craig Breslow to Boston. Since his return to the Red Sox on August 10, though, Podsednik has been the model of consistency.
On Thursday night, as the Sox stared down the potential of a crushing series sweep in Baltimore, Podsednik made sure to provide the spark.
It may have been Clay Buchholz, who immaculately struck out the side on just nine pitches in the sixth inning, that garners most of the credit for Boston’s impressive victory. And he deserves it for the gem that he was able to spin, especially after a tough start. But Podsednik’s ability to spark the offense was just as important to the victory.
Podsednik went 2-for-4 with a double in the Sox 6-3 win, not too shabby. But it was his timely hitting that truly made the difference for Boston. With two outs and facing a 2-0 deficit in the second, Podsednik slapped a single to center to score Nick Punto and pull the Sox back within one. Then even more importantly, Podsednik came through in the clutch once again in the sixth inning.
In a 3-3 game with neither side seeming to make a move, Podsednik doubled down the line and woke the Boston bats up once again. The double spurred a four-hit, three-run rally that gave the Red Sox a three-run lead and put them on top for good.
Podsednik’s production for the offense on Thursday may be overlooked, especially given the work of Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross — who combined for nine of the Sox 13 hits. But the value that Podsednik brought to the lineup was unquestionable.
As the season begins to wind down and the Red Sox cling to the mere glimmer of hope for a postseason berth, Podsednik could be a major factor. At 36, he’s not the most youthful guy on the Sox roster, but he’s got a potent bat and in the field he looks as spry as just about any guy in that clubhouse.
So while teams continue to battle each other and jockey for position in the standings over the next month, Podsednik should play a vital role for the Red Sox. His experience and ability are important and could be a key cog in the outcome of Boston’s season.
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