The Dodgers could have been in a very tough spot this season without AJ Pollock. Always a little underrated by the fanbase, Pollock has been a model of consistency for most of the year. He also was in the lineup daily when the team went through a wild series of injuries to position players.
His catch that robbed Manny Machado on Tuesday night in San Diego was just the latest big moment for Pollock. He also drove in a pair of runs in the top of the 7th inning that proved to be huge when the Padres hit a late homerun. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-2. Pollock followed that up with a game-winning shot in extras on Wednesday.
After Tuesday’s game, Dave Roberts spoke about the value of Pollock and what he’s meant to the Dodgers this year. Doc went as far as to say that AJ might be playing as well as anyone around the league since the All-Star break.
I think since the break he’s played as good baseball as anybody. Hitting right-handers, left-handers, playing really good defense, being dynamic on the bases. He’s slugging but he can down shift and get a base hit when we need it. …When some guys are going and running a little bit cold, he’s been picking everybody up and been one of our most consistent performers in the second half.
Since the break, Pollock is slashing .363/.403/.524 with a .927 OPS in 33 games. He’s also driven in 20 runs and continues to draw walks at a decent rate. Playing like this, he is easily the early candidate for the Dodgers’ second-half MVP.
So give the man the respect that he deseveres. The Dodgers might not be nearly as close to the Giants as they are right now without the help of AJ in there on a near-daily basis.