Now, to fully understand what the Red Sox Strut is, it means to have reason to walk with a confident, proud air around you. Some people mistake it for vanity, arrogance, or being pompous. This incorrect assumption is not what we mean. The Strut is about knowing that your deeds showed off your amazing skills to the baseball-loving public.
For the past seven days, Red Sox Nation has not had much to exactly strut about. However, the show must go on and there were two players, one position player and one pitcher, whom made themselves into leaders through their efforts.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been leading by example. In the last seven games, Pedroia has hit .333, which is second only to Blake Swihart, whom has 13 less at-bats. Pedroia also is second to left fielder Hanley Ramirez in terms of RBIs, with the former trailing the later by one (4-5). The 10-year veteran also has two home runs to tie Ramirez for the team lead in that department, over the same span.
May 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) forces out Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields (7) at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
For a leadoff man to be using his recent power (.533 SLG) in his role, he makes himself not only a threat to start the game, but also when the team cycles through to the eighth and ninth batters. If they can get on base, Pedroia has show the punch to drive them home, or at least to move them into scoring position.
Considering Pedroia has hit .325, with two home runs and eight RBIs at home, expect him to be a huge factor in Boston’s chances in this stand of games at Fenway Park in the next few days.
When the team is struggling, you can’t show fear. You need your leaders to stand up and strut their stuff, or else the new opponents will smell blood in the water. For the Red Sox, let’s hope that the stench hasn’t spread too far, already. If the veteran doesn’t come through, who will? With restless pressure, both offensively and defensively, Pedroia is needed for any chance of a comeback in the division.
With only one win in the books for any Red Sox pitcher, it was really easy, this week, to pick Eduardo Rodriguez as the one who strutted on the mound.
The 22-year-old from Valencia, Venezuela debuted on May 28th, against a potent Texas Rangers lineup that was on a hot streak. Rodriguez proceeded to pitch 7.2 innings, with relative ease. He allowed just three hits and two walks, while striking out seven opposing bats.
When he was not shutting down any hope that the Rangers would even touch his pitches, he got them to ground out 10 times. Dominating both the ground game and the strike zone puzzled Texas and their fans as to why he had such great success so young into his career.
The youthful Rodriguez and the restless Pedroia strutted their stuff, despite the nightmare that seems eternal lately for the Red Sox. If Rodriguez has another great outing, Red Sox manager John Farrell will have a decision to make, as the Venezuelan may look like he should be a staple in the starting rotation. Pedroia is as Pedroia does: he competes. Boston will need the former rookie of the year, four-time All-Star, and former American League MVP to summon all of his intensity and rub it off on the other players, if they will have any chance at catching the division leaders, before the post-season drama begins.
** All statistics come from MLB.com
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