yes, i did import the baseballmusings.com day-to-day database into an excel spreadsheet, why do you ask?In honor of tonight's magic number, two things:
ONE: Mike Lowell! This is just your friendly reminder that there is no such thing as a late jumper on the NDRaPRSFftEMRSoML bandwagon. Everyone's welcome!
TWO: Dustin Pedroia! Here is the thing: Pedroia is a table-setter, not a home run hitter. He does, however, have eight homers on the season. He hit number eight tonight, first batter in the sixth inning, breaking a 5-5 tie to give the Sox the lead for good. And as I watched the Mighty Mite ball sail up toward the Monster seats, I said to myself, "Self, why does it feel like we've been here before?"
It's hard to talk about clutch hitting without sounding like a Derek Jeter panty-sniffer, but the fact remains that eight times this year, Dustin Pedroia has hit a home run, and six times he produced either the tying or go-ahead run:
May 8: Breaks a 1-1 tie in the second inning, although the game would later go on to be a rout.
May 27: Solo shot in the top of the ninth to make the score 6-4 (the 234,356 pitch at-bat against then-Ranger Eric Gagne), would later go on to be the difference-maker when Okajima allowed a run in the bottom of the inning.
June 15: Ties the game at 2 in the bottom of the first inning in another game that would end up being a lopsided win.
July 16: Solo shot for the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth.
August 8: During the epic game against the Angels where the lead changed hands 426 times during the first six innings, is the first batter in the top of the seventh inning, hits a solo shot to take the lead for good.
August 18: Okay, this was pure stat-padding, a solo shot to make a 7-4 game an 8-4 game in the bottom of the eighth.
September 11: The seven-run deficit comeback game against the Devil Rays. First batter in the sixth inning, hits a solo shot to tie.
September 26: Aforementioned tie-breaking solo shot against the As.
So what have we learned here?
1. This is an incredibly small sample size, and should not be taken as an attempt to prove the existence of clutch hitting. I wouldn't want Fire Joe Morgan to try and confiscate my Blogger account.
2. That said, the Red Sox are 8-0 on the season when the Mighty Mite hits a home run.
3. Dustin Pedroia is your AL Rookie of the Year.