By Rich Levine
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."
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.