It’s a well-known fact that A.J. Pierzynski is a human boo magnet. Because of his winning-at-all-costs persona, his swagger and his knack for putting himself in the middle of controversy, he’s a target in almost every ballpark–every ballpark, that is, except the Cell.
Ozzie has made good-natured cracks about A.J. and how he’s annoying to his teammates as well. But he’s their A.J. and, as fans, he’s our A.J. We know he’s always there with winning in mind.
With the return of Pods, the emergence of Beckham, Buehrle’s perfecto and Thome’s climb up the home run ladder, Pierzynski’s 2009 hasn’t been as heralded as it should be.
The bottom line is that he’s just been great. In 105 games, he leads the team with a .314 batting average. A.J. has clouted 13 homers, driven in 36 runs and has been his usual outstanding and durable self behind the plate. Because our pitchers have improved at holding on runners, he’s been able to throw them out at a better pace as well. In fact, A.J. has erased three Orioles attempting to steal in the first two games of this weekend’s series.
With our monster road trip coming up, A.J. will need to continue his stellar play. And he’ll be needed most of all in navigating the pitchers through the troubled waters of Fenway, Yankee Stadium, the Twinkiedome and Wrigley.
Thought of the day: Had to really love the way Danks toughed it out last night in the 4-1 win against the Orioles. He looked absolutely lost in the third inning and was on the verge of being removed, but he gained his composure, gutted it out for 6 1/3 and earned his 11th win.