Our long national nightmare is over

Dustin Pedroia 2010 Topps

Oh thank Jesus, Buddah, Allah, Lemmy and whoever else you want. Dustin Pedroia comes back today.

Today, when the Red Sox take the field, neither Jed Lowrie, Bill Hall nor Eric Patterson will line up at second base.

Today, J.D. Drew will not hit second behind Marco Scutaro.

Today, no one will take ground balls from their knees during batting practice.

Today, the opening day double play combination will be intact.

Today, the 2008 American League MVP will bat in front of Victor Martinez and David Ortiz.

Today, after more than six weeks, the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox returns to the lineup.

Today, Dustin Pedroia will be activated from the disabled list.

And not a moment too soon.

The Red Sox enter the standings 6 games behind 5½ games behind Tampa Bay for the A.L. East lead and the Wild Card. Jacoby Ellsbury is out again indefinitely, Jason Varitek is still a week or so away from rejoining the team, and Kevin Youkilis is gone for the year, but if the Sox are ever going to make their push, today would be the day to start.

No more blown games, no more wasted runners in scoring position. Things need to fall in line, and it starts today.

There’s a lot on the shoulders of a 5’6″ second baseman today. I don’t think he’d want it any other way.

Update — Here are tonight’s lineups:

Boston Red Sox (67-52)

1. Marco Scutaro SS – 16
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B – 15
3.  David Ortiz DH – 34
4. Victor Martinez C – 41
5. Adrian Beltre 3B – 29
6. J.D. Drew RF – 7
7. Mike Lowell 1B – 25
8. Ryan Kalish CF – 55
9. Darnell McDonald LF – 54
P – Clay Buchholz (13-5, 2.49 ERA) – 11

Los Anaheim Angels (60-59)

1. Bobby Abreu LF – 53
2. Macier Izturis 2B – 13
3. Alberto Callaspo 3B – 12
4. Torii Hunter RF – 48
5. Hideki Matsui DH – 55
6. Erick Aybar SS – 2
7. Mike Napoli 1B – 44
8. Bobby Wilson C – 46
9. Peter Bourjos CF – 25
P – Jered Weaver (11-7, 2.87 ERA) – 36

Update 2 — And he’s back on the disabled list. So it goes…


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