Cubs: Highlighting each of Joc Pederson’s three hits from Tuesday’s win
Cubs: Hit #2 – Joc hits a laser beam that gets over the right-center field wall
Let’s head to the top of the fifth. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta put together a nice at-bat and got himself a single. So with a man on, up to the plate comes Joc Pederson to face Ponce once again.
The young Bucs hurler serves up the first pitch to Pederson, hit foul. Down 0-1, he makes soft contact with a pitch down and away to go down, 0-2. You figure that Ponce had the room to waste one or possibly throw something to entice Pederson to chase by being ahead in the count.
Well, that’s exactly what happened, Ponce throws one out of the zone, down and in. Ponce leans in for the sign, and serves up a fastball below the knees. BOOM! Pederson golf swings at the pitch and hits a line drive home run to right-center field.
That marked Pederson’s second homer, third RBI and, most importantly, knotted things up 3-3 in the fifth. His first AB showed great patience, while the second was excellent in its own way. He protected with two strikes and hit a pitch that was close enough to be called a ball or a strike, and it paid off big-time. All-around, this was just an excellent piece of hitting.
Cubs: Hit #3 – Joc hits a liner that zips past the second baseman for a double
Pederson’s final at bat came in the ninth inning. With the score being 4-3 (the final score), the young slugger didn’t earn an RBI nor was he driven in by a teammate. However, he did have another two-out, two-strike hit.
Pederson comes to the plate in the ninth inning to face Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez. Rodriguez starts him off with a fastball on the inside corner for a strike, Pederson takes. Rodriguez takes the second called strike on nasty breaking ball down and in, just on the corner.
With an 0-2 count, no men on, Rodriguez fires a fastball up at the chest. Pederson somehow has the bat speed to catch up with it and rips a line drive past the diving Pirates infield and into the gap. Pederson legged out a double to complete his 3-for-5, three-RBI night. What a performance. If he continues to tear it up like this, and hit for power, the Cubs may be able to make a run further than many had anticipated.