Low-powered Laser

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Low-powered Laser

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

Tuesday was supposed to be the night Dustin Pedroia saved the Red Sox.

That looks and sounds incredibly dramatic, given that the game was being played in mid-August against the struggling Los Angeles of Anaheim "No, seriously, Callaspo's hitting third" Angels, but drama was real.

Pedroia's return marked the start of Boston's last chance to make a run. The idea was that injecting him back into the mix might be the last-gasp-kick-in-the-ass the Sox needed. Pedroia would invoke change in the clubhouse, and in turn, the Sox would see some change in the standings.

And because he's Dustin Pedroia, everyone expected him to rise to the occasion. Honestly, would you have been remotely surprised if hed gone 3-for-5 and with a three-run homer? Doesnt that just seem like the Pedroia thing to do?

I was having visions of Nomar coming back in 2001, and hitting a homer and the game-winning single against the White Sox. Or Manny clearing waivers in 2005 and hitting a walk-off, pinch-hit single up the middle to beat the Twins.

The Pedroia storyline felt perfect. Hell, it was even his birthday!

He'd come up big, the fans would take over, and the energy and momentum would carry the Sox into their beyond crucial trip to Tampa at the end of the month. Mark it, dude.

But, sadly, on Tuesday night, the stars ultimately werent aligned for a historic return.
He hit a Laser Show on the first pitch he saw, but swung too early. He had a great chance to collect his first post-injury Web Gem in the second, but couldn't stab the grounder. He even tried going Manny and Nomar with a bullet up the middle, except Jered Weaver closed his eyes, threw out his glove and sent Pedey back to the bench. Oh well. So much for the memories.

But at this point in the season, and with the Yankees and Rays showing no signs of slowing down, it doesn't matter how the Sox win.

Whether Pedroia went 3-for-5 or 0-for-4, the Sox kicked off their unofficial "Last chance to make a run" with momentum building, 6-0 victory.

And the season lives to see another day.

OK, that was too dramatic.

Some random SoxAngels thoughts:

The Sox are the Celtics.

Hopefully this comparison carries into the playoffs, but for now, I'm talking about the fact that no Sox lead ever feels safe.

The fact they can have a six-run lead in the seventh inning, and you feel uneasy because Felix Dobrount's the only guy warming up in the bullpen.

The fact that sometimes you're more surprised when they don't blow a big lead.

Is Fenway still pretending to have a sellout streak?

Since turning 30 in the winter, I come across at least one thing every day that makes me feel depressingly old. I'll be driving to work and hear Stone Temple Pilots on a classic rock station. Ill be wasting time on Wikipedia and discover Bo Jackson's about to turn 48. Always something. It never fails.

Anyway, yesterdays moment came courtesy of Don Orsillo:

"Torii Hunter has been moved to right field for the Angels."

Damn.

If you're interested, here are my three most crushing "sign of the times" moments of the baseball season.

1. Griffey retires
2. Hunter loses center field
3. A-Rod enters menopause

Is the music in those Boston.com ads straight from The Departed? Either that or its a situation where they changed the song just enough to not have to pay the rights. Anyway, all I can think about during the commercial is that movie. I keep waiting for Gasper to be whacked at center court.

Loved watching Darnell MacDonald crash that windshield (although I guess theres probably one guy out there who'd disagree), but at the same time, I'm wildly disappointed that Adrian Beltre didnt do it first.

Can you imagine the aftermath of car getting bombed by one of AB's blasts? I'm not sure the whole parking lot wouldn't explode?

On a related note, who would have thought that Adrian Beltre would become the most lovable personality on the 2010 Red Sox?

I always figured he'd be competing with J.D. Drew in the robot division.

Rich Levine's column runs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on CSNNE.com. Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

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Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.