Even though Dustin Pedroia was limping through the clubhouse after fouling a ball off his left ankle last night, Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't think twice about putting the second baseman in the lineup tonight.
"If his name wasn't in the lineup, I guarantee you he'd be in the office," Farrell said.
No one in baseball has played more games than Pedroia's 124. He's started all but one game at second this year. He's reached base in 108.
If Pedroia wants to play, Farrell said he's not getting in the way.
"He's earned the right to speak his mind and we trust what he says with how he feels or what he's feeling at the plate or any area of his game," Farrell said. "So honestly, coming in here today, this wasn't even a second thought in my mind that he wouldn't be in the lineup."
Pedroia went down in the eighth inning, fouling the ball off the inside of his front leg. He finished his at-bat but didn't take the field in the ninth. X-rays following the game were negative.
"He's banged up a little bit, but he's ready to go," Farrell said.
At the start of the season, Pedroia quietly played through a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and earned his fourth All-Star nod.
"He leads by example," Farrell said. "In situations like this or his thumb or how he goes about every at-bat, the way he plays defense. We also know he's a vocal leader in his own right, but his actions speak volumes and much louder than anything he can possibly say. He's full of grit as we know and sets the tone for how we play this game."