Pedroia on HR: ‘I’m strong – I drink milk’
|06.16.10 at 11:13 pm ET|
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia does not consider himself a power hitter. The eight homers that he had by mid-May, he shrugs, bordered on an aberration.
Even so, the small second baseman with the big swing clobbers more than his fair share of longballs, and so his power drought of late was nearing the point of being noteworthy. In no small part because of the effects of a knee injury, Pedroia had gone through spells in which he had failed to stay back on the ball, resulting in less ability for him to impact it with his typical force.
After hitting his eighth homer of the year on May 14, Pedroia had gone 28 games without another shot, tied for the second longest run without a longball of his career. The longest stretch endured by Pedroia took place last year, when he went 47 games without a homer.
But on Wednesday, in his club’s 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks (recap), Pedroia ended that run of futility. He jumped on a 90 mph fastball in the first inning and lined it just over the Green Monster for his ninth homer of the year, ending his 117 at-bat fallow spell.
Asked about his power display, Pedroia first dismissed the notion that he was a home run hitter before engaging the topic with his typical smirk.
“I’m strong,” Pedroia said. “Strong. I drink milk.”
Pedroia has been taunting Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo for his lack of a signature home run call of late. On Wednesday, Pedroia was informed that Orsillo experimented with a “Ball gone” eruption as he rounded the bases. The second baseman offered a cautious endorsement.
“Better than the old stuff that he was bringing, which was not very good,” said Pedroia. “Good, good for Don. I’m always all over him, because I hear all these other announcers and they have their ‘look at me’ calls and stuff, and Don is pretty boring. We’ve got to step up his game a little bit. Nobody really gets on him. So, that’s kind of my job, to wear him out a little bit.”
Given recent trends, Pedroia may give Orsillo further occasion to refine that call. The second baseman has snapped out of his slump in striking fashion. He is now 12-for-24 in his last six games with four doubles and a homer. He also swiped a base, all signs that he has not only left his slump behind, but also evidence that he is feeling meaningful improvement in his injured right knee.
That, in turn, allowed Pedroia to be confident in his ability to snap out of his skid.
“If you don’t shake [slumps] off, then you’re not very good,” said Pedroia. “I’ve hit every year my whole life. I don’t think it’s ever going to stop.”
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