Dustin Pedroia MVP needs a little breathing room
Posted by athomeatfenway on September 1, 2008
Aug. 30 & 31, 2008
The air in Fenway Park had to be a little suffocating for Dustin Pedroia. His team was down by 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. Ellsbury took a lead off third. Pinch runner Coco Crisp stood on second.
The crowd was chanting. MVP. MVP. MVP.
For the third day in a row.
MVP. MVP. MVP.
The chant rang out on this most claustrophobic day of August. 150,000 college students and parents clogged Storrow Drive and the Mass Pike. This is college move-in day. Tens of thousands of cars jammed the Big Dig, heading in and out of Boston. This was Labor Day Weekend. Cars were stalled and dormitory bookcases were hefted all over the City.
There was bright sunshine outside. But Dustin Pedroia stood in the 4 p.m. shadows cast over the batter’s box, trying to pick up Bobby Jenks’ pitches.
Wakefield and Delcarmen pitched well. The Sox squandered offensive opportunities. With a walk and a single from Ellsbury & Ortiz, the Sox were a swing away from a walk-off victory in the bottom of the 9th.
The little engine that could was at bat.
The smallest MVP could he be — since Nellie Fox 49 years ago.
Jenks fed Dustin two 91 mph sliders. The count was 1-1.
Jenks hurled a slider down. Pedroia hit it off the end of the bat, lifting a weak flyner to left for the last out.
The wolf was at the door. The children and the grandmother were eaten.
No storybook moment this day.
The crowd went home a little sad and emotional.
Sadness over no sweep.
Anxiety that the Twins and Rays would win — and gain.
Fear that our lack of timely hitting would rear its ugly head as we enter September. The month when winners become Money.
What more do we want from Pedroia ?
The Little Guy heads all American League batters in three categories: Batting @ .326; Hits @ 183, and Runs Scored @ 106;
He is third in doubles with 43.
He leads the League in healthy attitude. No conceit or arrogance.
He busted down the line yesterday with a flat out hustle that would have exploded Manny Ramirez’s hamstrings.
The team needs him to stay healthy. We need him to keep doing what he has been doing.
I hesitate to chant and put any added pressure on him.
The ChiSox are an entertaining bunch
As the crowd belted out a robust “Sweet Caroline”, Nick Swisher pumped his fist with the bugs on the “bum, bum, bum” in Neil Diamond’s melody. Swisher displayed good nature despite being harassed by two bad apples the day before.
In the first after Pedroia singled to reach base for the 11th consecutive at bat, Chicago’s Ozzie Guillen offered to award Dustin the ball. Ozzie’s got a sense of humor, what with telling the Press he is more concerned with Pedroia than Big Papi these days.
Lastly, Orlando Cabrera reverentially doffed his batting helmet to Ellsbury after the Centerfielder robbed him of a double with a heroic catch this weekend. Orlando’s tongue was in his cheek as he feigned subordination to the fleet flycatcher.
The White Sox are an interesting bunch. And they hit the ball like hell. What a line up ! The Sox staff did a hell of a job holding them down, especially Quentin.
Hats off to Jim Thome, who homered, tying Mantle with career #536 on Sunday. He powered Chicago to the 4-2 win on Sunday. Note that the clutch Chicago batsmen scored ALL four of their runs with 2 out. UGG !