Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia on runners in scoring position struggles: 'That [expletive] will change'

Ryan Hannable
May 06, 2015 - 8:15 pm

The Red Sox have lost five of their last six games, and went 3-6 on their most recent homestand, finishing with a 5-3 loss to the Rays Wednesday night. You don't have to search far for a common theme. No, it's not just the starting pitching, it's the inability to get a clutch hit. The Red Sox were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, and they are 4-for-45 (.080) in their last six games. "Yeah, well it's 28 games over 162, that [expletive] will change," Dustin Pedroia said. The Red Sox had plenty of chances Wednesday. First, in the eighth inning after Mookie Betts crushed a solo homer to lead the inning off cutting the deficit to 4-3, the Red Sox then loaded the bases with one out against Rays reliever Kevin Jepsen. Daniel Nava, who pinch-hit for Allen Craig, grounded out to first and then Brock Holt also grounded out to first, ending the threat. Second, even though Alexi Ogando allowed a solo homer to Evan Longoria in the ninth, the Red Sox still had a chance against Brad Boxberger in the ninth trailing by two runs. Xander Bogaerts led the inning off with a single to center and then Blake Swihart popped up to the catcher, but Bogaerts was able to advance to second on a wild pitch. Betts then walked to set up runners on first and second with one out. But, once again the Red Sox couldn't do anything with it as Dustin Pedroia struck out swinging and Luis Jimenez (who was inserted as a pinch-runner for Ortiz in the eighth) grounded out to end the game. Farrell obviously would have liked to have Ortiz up in that situation, but he made the decision to insert Jimenez in the eighth. In hindsight it was the wrong move. "With his run being the tying run, if we get a base hit there and we don't pinch-run and he gets thrown out at home plate, you're either damned if you do, damned if you don't," manager John Farrell said. "The way this one worked out there's his spot and the final out. In the eighth inning, we've got multiple opportunities with the bases loaded there and didn't cash in." As a team they are now hitting .210 with runners in scoring position for the season, with some of the best hitters in the lineup leading the way as Dustin Pedroia is hitting .115 and Mike Napoli just .136. It isn't just them as Pablo Sandoval is batting .238 and Craig only .182. This comes after Craig was one of the best in the National League in such situations in St. Louis. Pedroia is adamant it will change. "You guys look at it one game season's, we look at it as 162," he said. "Guys that are [expletive] right now with runners in scoring position that will change. Fact. There's your answer." It's just not this year either, as last season capitalizing with runners in scoring position was an issue as well. The team hit .237, good for 27th in baseball. "I think we're doing a great job creating opportunities, but still the finishing through, cashing in, hasn't been there," Farrell said.