Monday night was a rough one for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they were blown out by the Colorado Rockies, 9-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field.
The Rockies broke through for five runs in the fifth inning against Kenta Maeda, while L.A. could only muster four hits on the night and didn’t score until the eighth inning.
That run was driven in on a RBI groundout by Joc Pederson, although he went 0-for-4 on the night while also committing an error at first base when receiving a routine throw from Justin Turner. To make matters worse, Pederson did not run hard to first on his run-scoring groundout.
That prompted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to make a change at first base by inserting Tyler White. Roberts revealed after the loss that Pederson’s lack of hustle was the reason for him being benched.
Rather than become upset with the decision, Pederson took accountability for his actions, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I think that was unprofessional. I let the emotions get the best of me, and I’m better than that.”
Pederson’s frustration most likely stems from not only the team losing to an inferior opponent but also his own recent struggles at the plate. He is just 11-for-56 (.196 batting average) with three home runs in his last 17 games.
Pederson is a big part of what the Dodgers strategize for as their primary leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching, so he will have to continue to work through his struggles to make sure he is at his best when the postseason rolls around.
The Rockies started a left-hander in Kyle Freeland on Tuesday night, so Pederson was not included in the lineup. Though, that figures to change for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale at Coors Field.
Since becoming manager of the Dodgers, Roberts has not been afraid to bench his players for not hustling, and every time the issue is immediately fixed. He previously had a discussion with Pederson this season after he didn’t run out a pop-up.