"A couple of years ago, I had 60 at-bats, and I was hitting .170, and everyone was ready to kill me, too. And what happened? Laser show. So, relax."
It's always bad form to start off any piece of writing with a quote, but since we're talking about Dustin Pedroia, one must stay unorthodox, correct? So let's take a trip back to June shall we?
The Red Sox were winners of 6 straight coming into an interleague match-up with the Colorado Rockies, and in general, were having a great month of June, continuing their winning ways from May after having a horrible month of April. However, after losing of the first 2 games of the series, it seemed as if the Red Sox were falling back into the rut of April (and indeed, "The Dog Days of Summer" were coming up and the team certainly did not play well).
Who better to salvage this series than the little big-man himself, Dustin Pedroia?
"People always ask me if I wish I were bigger. I tell them no. I always wanted to be a miniature badass."
Suffice to say, he certainly was. He went 5-for-5 with 3 home runs; a magnificent game all-around for the 2008 AL MVP.
The first shot came in the 4th inning with the Red Sox down 2-0 to Rockies pitcher Jason Hammel. Nothing spectacular per-se, just a classic solo shot that went 396 feet into the night. However, while that home run may have been standard fare as far as home runs go, it opened the flood gates for the Red Sox and by the time they were done batting, a 2-run lead was in their hands, leading 4-2.
That lead became bigger, 6-2 by the bottom of the 6th inning. However, as we all know by now, our lovely bullpen of 2010 decided that it was Christmas in June and proceeded to give up 6 runs, putting us in the hole, 8-6.
It went back and forth for the next couple of innings until the top of the 8th inning. With the Red Sox on top 9-8, Pedroia decided he had seen enough and whacked a 2-run home run off of Rafael Betancourt, scoring Daniel Nava along with him, making it 11-8 (for the record, this shot only went 385 feet).
However, yet again it was the bullpen's time to...well, not shine, as by the time the bottom of the 9th ended, the game was tied 11-11.
By that time, most of Red Sox Nation figured it was over for the team as the Rockies would probably come back and finish the team off...
Enter: D to the P.
"'Johnny, I have to ask you a question: Who the hell is Ted Williams?'"
We all know Ted Williams and his exploits. What we didn't know was that Dustin Pedroia was about etch his own exploits into Red Sox history.
Top of the 10th inning, with 2 outs and Marco Scutaro on base, Pedroia let one rip off Rockies closer Huston Street to make it 13-11. Again, not too far, going 373 feet; however, it was the score that counted in the end.
A Red Sox "W."
Unfortunately for Pedroia, he went on the 15-day DL right afterward, and it was pretty much a downer of a season for him.
However, if anybody wanted to go out in style like that, only Pedroia could really pull it off with panache.
So as he stated in a win against Toronto earlier in the season: "We run-prevented the [heck] out of them."
That you did, kind sir. That you did.