CLEVELAND -- Nobody ever questions the intensity with which Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia plays.
However, after striking out to end Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Indians in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Pedroia admits his anger toward first-base umpire Phil Cuzzi was misguided.
In truth, Pedroia was furious with himself for offering at a 3-2 pitch from Indians closer Cody Allen that was in the dirt. Pedroia's heat-of-the-moment reaction was to bark at Cuzzi for not calling a check swing. Pedroia jawed at Cuzzi down the first-base line as the Indians formed their victory line.
Red Sox manager John Farrell immediately rushed on to the field to intervene and was able to prevent Pedroia from making even incidental contact with Cuzzi.
"I was obviously frustrated in that situation, trying to continue the game. I went on that one, so obviously your first reaction is you're mad," Pedroia said. "I'll apologize to Phil tomorrow for yelling at him. It was a good game. They made pitches when they needed to. They threw some sharp breaking balls in tough spots. They were one run better than us."
At first glance, it might have looked like Pedroia had drawn a walk to extend the game. But television replays clearly showed that he went.
"It was a check swing at a ball in the dirt," Farrell said. "At real-time it's a borderline call. After you get a chance to look at video, he swung."
Allen wasn't even sure if Pedroia went around. But he's pleased that Cuzzi saw it the way he did.
"You know, I don't know," Allen said. "I think from the angle that I'm looking at it, in order for me to really see that a guy went around, normally if I see the barrel come through, he really went around. It was hard for me to tell. I was just pointing down at first and eyeballing the first-base umpire as quick as I could."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.