Here we go...
In under 4 hours, Dustin Pedroia will step into the box against CC Sabathia in the biggest game of his life. For all of the "we've been there before" stuff we've been hearing from Yoooooouk and others, for some of the key players (Pedroia, Lugo, Coco, Papelbon, Okajima), they haven't been there before. This isn't a post about pressure though. It's a post about how, in a season that lasts more than 6 months, over two hundred games, counding pre- and post-season, that goes from cold to hot and back to cold again, everything comes down to three or four chances at the plate and a half dozen chances in the field. How exhilirating must that be?
Mike & Mike this morning (shut up, I was getting dressed) were talking about this phenomenon - how casual fans sitting in the stands say things like "I'd kill for that guy's job" or "those players don't know how good they have it", when the player's perspective is, well, it's a job. Still, Golic admitted that there were times when he would step back, look around and say, "wow. This is pretty damn cool. I'm in the NFL."
I imagine tonight is one of those nights. Even on the road, even with the expectations. You have to think that when Pedroia steps in at 8:07 to face the real Hefty Lefty (sorry Jared, CC has you beat), he'll close his eyes and shake his head, as he does, step out, adjust the batting gloves and wait, just for a second, before stepping in and getting back to his job.
Bring it back to Fenway, guys.
Some pre-game blogtalk:
The Mighty Quinn reminds us that the Sox have faced this situation before. Often with worse odds (who thought Schilling would be able to pitch again in '04 Who thought the Sox would beat the Indians in '99 after going down 0-2 with that dead-ass pitching staff?)
Joy of Sox has the salient quotes for tonight.
Peter says it's Beckett or Bust and (rightly) defends Manny. Let's give the Manny-bashing a rest and YES, Mike No Talent Adams, I'm looking at you.
Triumphant Red Sox Fan thinks we need more Millar.
Red Sox Dad (wait that could describe me as well) thinks the Sox look nice and loose.