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Reddick can’t catch a break

Ump’s ruling, hits not falling his way

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By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / August 23, 2011

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Josh Reddick didn’t need to see the video replay. He knew he had made a catch, despite the call of first base umpire Doug Eddings, who ruled that the Red Sox right fielder had trapped Ian Kinsler’s dying quail of a fly ball in the third inning of last night’s 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.

“I clearly caught it, in my opinion,’’ he said. “I came in and asked everybody who saw it on TV, ‘Clear catch?’ And nobody’s perfect. He just missed it. I was 100 percent sure that I caught it because if I don’t catch that it definitely bounces and hits off my chest instead of going into my glove.’’

TV replays seemed to support Reddick’s argument.

He appeared to scoop Kinsler’s fly ball in the webbing of his glove and came up throwing to first in an attempt to double-up Craig Gentry, which would have resulted in an inning-ending double play.

“That’s just reaction and natural instinct,’’ Reddick said. “If I didn’t catch it, I would’ve tried to get him at second, but I looked up and the base runner was halfway between first and second.’’

But Eddings did not allow for a rebuttal, especially when Sox manager Terry Francona emerged from the dugout to protest the call that wound up resulting in the first of four runs Erik Bedard surrendered.

On a night when the Sox were clearly in need of a spark, any kind of spark, Reddick was disappointed he was unable to provide it with his defense or his offense, which this month has fallen into a Texas-sized sinkhole.

Reddick went 0 for 3 last night with three fly outs and is hitting .214 for the month (12 for 56).

“The league’s making adjustments to him and he’s at that point where he’s got to make adjustments back,’’ said Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan. “I think he’s gotten himself into some decent hitting counts and he’s missing pitches that he normally puts in play - hard. When you do that, now you’ve got to hit some pitchers’ pitches.

“He’ll make the adjustment. He’s too good a hitter.’’

But, Reddick said, he didn’t want to overthink the situation. He wanted to remain within himself.

“I just have to make sure that everything stays the same and don’t come here and try to change the mechanics of my swing or do too much and overwork,’’ said Reddick, who on June 25 had a .462 batting average, a .516 on-base percentage, and a .769 slugging percentage, adding up to an off-the-charts 1.285 on-base-plus slugging percentage (OPS). His OPS now is .844.

“It’s part of the game,’’ Reddick said. “People go through these things all the time. A perfect example is - and I don’t want to call him out - but look at Adrian [Gonzalez]. He’s struggled here lately, and even the best struggle, but you keep grinding away.’’

With J.D. Drew set to come off the disabled list next week, Reddick was asked if it added to his sense of urgency to get his offense jump-started.

“I don’t think so. I haven’t looked too much into it,’’ he said. “I’m just looking to come here every day and play, no matter what the situation is. I just try to keep all the outside stuff I can’t control out of my mind and focus on the game that day and take it from there.’’

Might his catch have provided a spark?

“I really don’t want to compare defense to offense, but it would’ve been nice to have one of those off the end [of the bat] fall in, but like I said, it’s part of the game,’’ Reddick said. “You’re going to hit it hard, and sometimes it’s going to get caught.

“Sometimes you’re going to get jammed or hit it off the end, and it’s going to fall. They always say you only need that one to fall in and then you go from there. Maybe dropping down a bunt might help, we’ll see how it goes.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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