Dustin Pedroia is turning things around. After a dismal May, the Red Sox second baseman has hit .370/.444/.500 so far in the month of June, bringing his season OBP back up to a more-than-respectable .375.
Many people would point to June 1, June 4, or June 5 as the turnaround date. The first just because of his numbers on the month, the fourth because it started his recent six-game hitting streak, or the fifth because, well, 1-for-5 on the fourth isn't too pretty. I go a bit further back, however, to May 27.
From May 27 to May 31, Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-18 with three walks and a home run. These do not make for impressive numbers by any stretch of the imagination. But that date also marked the first time in three games in which he did not strike out. It would be seven games before he would again go down by way of the K.
Since May 27, Dustin Pedroia has seen 242 pitches, swung at 98, and made contact on all but 12 of those swings. So far, 2011 has seen Pedroia put up a career-high swinging strike percentage and a career-low contact rates. While the 87.6% contact and 4.96% swinging strike rates are still not up to Pedroia's norms, they're noticeably better than his season numbers to date. The result: just two strikeouts in about 60 plate appearances with 11 walks to go with it.
Dustin Pedroia may not be back at full-force just yet. Of his four extra-base hits during the period, only two of them are really a result of power over placement. But if the power swing isn't back yet, the Pedroia swing is. Much as he's done in some of his best moments since his debut in 2007, Pedroia is capable of striking on any pitch, be it six inches outside, or nearly in the dirt. If he keeps putting balls in play, he's going to keep getting hits. And that's what the Red Sox need from him.