Pedroia looks to bounce back
Gritty second baseman managed just one hit in ALDS
ST. PETERSBURG -- It wasn't the type of history that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia wanted to repeat, struggling in the American League Division Series for the second successive season. But just like last year, his team's advancement to the AL Championship Series gives him a chance for a fresh start.
And there are few players in baseball who thrive on chances at redemption more than the feisty Pedroia, who offends himself each time he makes an out.
Considered to be a top candidate this season for the AL Most Valuable Player Award, Pedroia is going to try to get his groove back after hitting .059 (1-for-17) in Boston's four-game ALDS victory over the Angels.
"I think it was more of a credit to the Angels than me doing that bad," said Pedroia, who drew a walk in the first inning of Game 1 on Friday night. "Hopefully this series, I can have a much better time. I was getting good pitches, pitcher's pitches."
Now, he will look for a mistake and try to pound it.
"I just want to have good at-bats and get on base," Pedroia said. "I think everyone knows I can perform in the postseason. I did that last year and did well."
Last year, Pedroia hit .154 in the ALDS before heating up to the tune of .345 in a seven-game conquest of the Indians in the ALCS.
So while some players might try to make adjustments after a rough series, Pedroia knows to stay with the things that make him successful.
"I'm not going to change anything," Pedroia said. "My routine is going to stay exactly the same. Just because I had two bad games or whatever, I'm not going to change the things that helped me all year."
Pedroia's stubborn attitude is just one of the things that endears him to his teammates.
"I love him. I love that guy," Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said. "One way or the other, the little man had to let people know he was around. I love him, man. He's got the good kind of cocky. He's a trash talker, but it's the kind of trash that puts you in a good mood. I love it."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.