EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

August 19, 2013

Top three takeaways from the Sox/Yanks series

BOSTON — Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn’t talk with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington except for a “hello” when they cross paths.

And Cashman wouldn’t talk about the job Cherington has done building the 2013 Red Sox or what some of Boston’s flaws are moving forward. He just said the Sox have enough smart people and they know what they need to do.

What Cashman will talk about though is how much respect he has for Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

“He’s just a tremendous player, period,” Cashman told The Eagle-Tribune before last night’s game. “Offense and defense, he’s just a gamer. He’s one of the best.”

Boston and New York wrapped up their three-game set last night with New York winning the rubber match, 9-6. The Red Sox are starting to spiral downward. They have lost three straight series to the Royals, Blue Jays and Yanks.

Here are my three takeaways from the series:

1. Pedroia is irreplaceable and must be at his best

Cashman hit the nail on the head. Pedroia had a major influence on Boston’s 6-1 win Saturday despite going 0 for 5.

The second baseman made three strong defensive plays, including an excellent diving stop on a ball up the middle to rob Alex Rodriguez of a single.

Pedroia left Saturday’s game in the ninth after fouling a ball off his left shin above the ankle in the eighth. That got some around wondering what this Red Sox team would be like without Pedroia.

Pedroia is irreplaceable both offensively and defensively (just four errors) right now and this team needs him to be at his best down the stretch.

Pedroia’s health is crucial. He has played through injuries before with mixed results. Remember when he played with a torn muscle in his right thumb in June 2012 and batted just .194 in 93 at-bats that month?

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