Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers are back in the driver’s seat after edging out a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the World Series as the club is now one victory away from capturing their first title since 1988.
A big reason for that was the Dodgers’ early success against Tyler Glasnow. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Joc Pederson extended it with a home run to begin the top of the second.
“He throws the ball really hard,” Pederson said. “Just honestly looking to put the ball in play. He got me in Game 1, so it was nice to be able to return the favor.”
Pederson finished his night with the one hit in two at-bats, but has generally seen the ball well this postseason. He posted a .977 on-base plus slugging percentage against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series and has since gone 4-for-10 in the World Series.
“I think just coming up in some of the at-bats, pinch-hitting, you’ve got to be ready to hit,” Pederson said. “We’re facing some really good arms. The last thing you want to do is get behind.”
Pederson has received the majority of his opportunities against opposing right-handers this year. Despite not always being in the lineup, his teammates are not surprised he is finding ways to contribute.
“Absolutely not. They don’t call it Joctober for no reason,” Max Muncy said. “The guy performs on the huge stage. It’s just what he does.”
Roberts ‘couldn’t be happier’ Pederson remained with Dodgers
Prior to the start of Spring Training, Pederson and Ross Stripling were nearly traded to the L.A. Angels for a package of prospects. The deal, however, was reportedly nixed by owner Arte Moreno after the transaction was held up.
The non-trade has proven to be beneficial for the Dodgers, who are reaping the rewards of Pederson’s performance in October. “You never know what to expect from a player in the postseason, but I think if you look at Joc’s postseason track record, he always performs,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“He’s just laser-focused like a lot of our guys. Believe me, I couldn’t be happier that he remained a Dodger.”
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