BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia is perhaps one of the most underrated players in Major League Baseball, but all eyes are on the Red Sox second baseman right now.
Pedroia is a career .301 hitter, so Boston expects production from him year in and year out. However, the tear the 33-year-old is on right now is impressive even for him.
Before Saturday’s 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park, Pedroia was seven for his last seven at-bats and was coming off going 4-for-4 with a walk Friday. And he continued that, going 4-for-5 in the middle game of their series, falling one hit short of the Red Sox and Major League Baseball records of 12 hits in 12 consecutive at-bats.
“I don?t know, man, it?s baseball,” Pedroia said of his hitting streak. “It?s a crazy game. We?ve faced some pretty good pitchers, so it?s just one of those things where you?re locked in. The guys I faced, those guys were really tough. You just have hot streaks.”
In fact, Pedroia has been tearing it up out of the leadoff spot, batting .458 (33-for-72) since he moved there on Aug. 10. But Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn’t think being in a new spot in the order made Pedroia better.
“I can?t say it?s because he?s gone to the leadoff spot because even prior to that move, he had been swinging the bat pretty well,” Farrell said. “But he continues to get pitches in the middle of the plate and is not missing them. Base hits the other way, up the middle, he?s using the whole field. But you get on base 12 consecutive times, including the one walk, that?s an impressive stretch regardless of where you?re at. He?s in a really good place right now.”
Pedroia said he heard something about the record when he went to the bathroom, but otherwise, he didn’t think about it. His teammates, on the other hand, were well aware of what the second baseman was doing.
“As a matter of fact, I told (assistant hitting coach) Victor (Rodriguez) that I think he got 10 straight hits because in Tampa he got out his first at-bat and then he got three hits and then four and then tonight,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “It was an awesome roll, and it was fun to see.”
But Pedroia unsurprisingly downplayed the feat.
?It?s late in the year, and I think we?re a game behind first place, so I don?t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back or anything,” Pedroia said. “We?re trying to win as a team.”
Bogaerts, however, was pretty impressed and didn’t think it mattered much that Pedroia didn’t tie the record.
“He missed one more shy of tying, so, I mean, I?ll take 11 (hits) every day,” Bogaerts said.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images