Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson had been struggling at the plate the last couple of months, but he has come alive in the last 24 hours.
After hitting a game-winning home run to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, Pederson went 3-for-3 with two more home runs and a double off the top of the wall in his first three at-bats of Monday’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Pederson was even getting the job done in the field too, robbing Charlie Blackmon of a three-run home run down the line in right field in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, Pederson ran into the wall in the process and immediately went down in pain.
After being looked at by the team trainer, Pederson was able to get up and walk under his own power but he was removed from the game with an apparent upper-body injury.
This is one of the most painful home run robberies I’ve seen this year. Holy cow, Joc Pederson. pic.twitter.com/iNcMCbQAkJ
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 3, 2019
It was later reported by Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA that Pederson avoided serious injury, officially being diagnosed with an abdominal contusion:
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) September 3, 2019
During the team’s recent series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts compared the final month of the season to Spring Training considering how sizeable their division lead is and the hope of getting to October without any more injuries.
“I think that’s a fair parallel,” Roberts said. “Obviously the games are important, they all matter. Fortunately, where we’ve put ourselves in the standings, you want to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders and part of that is being healthy. There’s certainly a balance. You want to make sure guys are healthy when you get to the second season.”
Crashing into a wall and suffering an injury is obviously unavoidable so it is good to see Pederson was not seriously injured as that would have been a big loss for Los Angeles.
Overall in 128 games this season, Pederson is slashing .242/.333/.519 with 64 RBI and 30 home runs, which is a career-high.