Is there any doubt?
After the second consecutive bed crapping from Papelbon (did anyone else want to shut off the game when he came out for the bottom of the 10th?), things were looking bleak for the Sox last night. But then, Jim Tracy, by all accounts a good manager and knowledgeable guy, decided that the best way to move forward was to pitch to Pedroia, who up to that point was 4-4 and had two two-run bombs.
And these moments are why this guy, not the equally qualified Youkzilla, should be the next captain of the Boston Red Sox. Last night, he took the whole team on his back, led the team to a big win and made the Rockies feel like Marvin after Vincent Vega shot him in the face. Pedey was 5-5, with 5 RBI, 4 runs scored, three home runs and a walk. Seriously, that’s good for some guys over a week.
But it’s not what he did alone that makes Pedroia the ideal guy to take over for Varitek when he bows out, it’s the timing. It seems like every time the team needs him, the 2008 AL MVP is there to lift them off the carpet. Last night it was recovering from an epic collapse on all fronts by the bullpen (Paps, Oki, MDC, Freaking everyone), but he’s also been there when we needed a spark in game one of the 2007 World Series (best home run I’ve ever seen live) and pretty much whenever he has been needed. Moreover, he’s a gold glover at a premium defensive position and obviously considers a game ended with a clean jersey to be a failure.
Now the National League demolition tour is off to San Francisco, where the Giants had better be afraid, because their bullpen is wasted after a rough last few days. Tonight is the only 10:15 start, but the whole weekend will likely hinge on Sunday’s Lester Vs. Lincecum showdown.