Giants’ Joc Pederson ‘Unemotional’ Despite Key Hit Against Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the wrong end of an intentional walk leading to runs on Friday night when Joc Pederson hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to create some separation for the San Francisco Giants in their eventual 7-2 win.

After Walker Buehler managed to pitch just four innings because of right elbow discomfort, Justin Bruihl put himself in a jam by throwing the ball away upon fielding a tapper in front of the mound.

He bounced back to strike out Mike Yastrzemski but rather than face Wilmer Flores with two outs, the Dodgers elected for an intentional walk and left-on-left matchup with Pederson. Bruihl fell behind in the count 2-0 and his attempt to get a strike over was lined into right field.

The moment not only was vindication for Pederson because of the intentional walk, but noteworthy in that it came against a left-hander. Such opportunities were limited during his seven years with the Dodgers.

Despite a chance to take added satisfaction in delivering against his former team, Pederson largely downplayed his two-run single and instead focused on the Giants getting a win, via Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic:

“I played there for a long time,” Pederson said of his seven seasons with the Dodgers. “You’re right, I didn’t play a lot against lefties. I’m not going to put too much thought into it, like I really want to stick it to them. I’m over that. We won the ballgame. I came through with a nice hit. I’ll kind of move forward and not make too much of it.

“It’s easy to overanalyze it or over-hype yourself up. Like, ‘I don’t get opportunities so I’ve got to take this one.’ It just makes it harder. It’s hard to put into words. You don’t want to say it’s like you care less. That doesn’t sound good. The best word I have is ‘unemotional.’ Then you’re able to put yourself in the best position to succeed.”

Pederson is the second former teammate the Dodgers have faced on their current road trip, and after coming up with an impactful hit himself, AJ Pollock shared a similar sentiment. Pollock’s and Pederson’s cases differ in that the former was traded by L.A., though he expressed an understanding of the deal and said there isn’t any lingering animosity.

Dodgers fans booed Joc

The Giants are the third team Pederson has played for since leaving the Dodgers in free agency after the 2020 World Series, and their visit to Dodger Stadium last month included resounding boos.

It was a drastically different reception from Pederson’s prior visits with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves.

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