Dustin Pedroia never has experienced a September like this.

In his first three full seasons in the majors, the Red Sox made the playoffs. Last year, despite an epic collapse, they weren't eliminated from contention until the fateful final night in Baltimore. And when the Sox didn't reach the postseason in 2010, Pedroia was sidelined after the middle of August by a broken bone in his foot.

So now, with the losses mounting, the All-Star second baseman is dealing with the harsh reality of playing only for pride.