The Los Angeles Dodgers have regrouped since their cold night against Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs, as they’ve put themselves in position to sweep the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
On the heels of a 14-inning thriller, Zack Greinke helped pitch the Dodgers to a one-run win, outdueling Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The difference in the game wound up being Joc Pederson’s solo home run in the seventh inning, which was a welcome sight given the slump he endured in August.
After watching the line-drive shot clear the center field fence, Pederson yelled in excitement and raced around the bases. “I got lost in the moment,” he said. “It’s nice to help the team win in a big game. One that hopefully brings us one game closer to making the playoffs and clinching that.”
With two wins in a row against the Giants, the Dodgers increased their first-place lead in the National League West to 5.5 games entering Wednesday’s series finale. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly expressed his satisfaction in seeing the rookie center fielder find success given the amount of work Pederson has put in.
Although it hasn’t necessarily translated to better results quite yet, Zack Greinke believes Pederson has recently improved at the plate. “I feel like he’s been swinging a little better lately,” Greinke said. “I think the rest is going to be valuable for him. Playing a lot of games, he didn’t get an All-Star break, he did the Home Run Derby. I think it could be a good thing for him.”
While Pederson was often benched in favor of Kiké Hernandez, that figures to change moving forward as Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain.