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Joc Pederson’s extra-base hit streak & the Dodgers’ rally

World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros - Game Four
Joc Pederson is hitting .286/.333/.857 this postseason.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Here are a few more thoughts on the Dodgers’ Game 4 win over the Astros on Saturday night.

The Dodgers got their long-awaited lead in the ninth inning on Cody Bellinger ‘s double, then got some insurance with the sacrifice fly by Austin Barnes. While that provided some breathing room, the home run by Joc Pederson was the exhale moment for the Dodgers.

His three-run shot gave the Dodgers a 6-1 lead, and continued a remarkable turnaround for Pederson.

After a home run on July 26, Pederson in his next game was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk. He was hitting .248/.359/.481 on the season at that point, but then everything went south.

Most Dodgers consecutive postseason starts with an extra-base hit

Player Streak Year(s)
Player Streak Year(s)
Billy Cox 4 1952-53
Andre Ethier 4 2009
A.J. Ellis 4 2013-14
Joc Pederson 4 2017
Source: Baseball-Reference

A 2-for-41 (.049) slump got Pederson sent to the minors. After his return to the Dodgers in September, Pederson was 4-for-22 (.182) with two of those hits — both doubles — coming on the final day of the regular season. So he ended his year in a 6-for-63 (.095) skid, with four total extra-base hits, all doubles, in 75 plate appearances.

This postseason, Pederson has four extra-base hits — two home runs and two doubles — in 16 plate appearances. That includes an extra-base hit in each of his four postseason starts, including two home runs and a double in the last three World Series games.

Pederson tied a Dodgers postseason record with four straight starts with an extra-base hit, matching Billy Cox, Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis.

Speaking of Ethier, this anecdote from Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports about an interaction with Bellinger was great:

After the prior at-bat, a strikeout, another strikeout, a teammate – veteran Andre Ethier – approached him with an earnest mug, as though he’d come bearing insight or wisdom or, hell, a tousle of the hair. Anything would do. With failure come good, hard lessons, and through lessons comes the man who could, for example, take over a series. At least put a ball in play. Presumably, Bellinger was all for that. So he looked up and his pal Andre Ethier leaned in and said, as Ethier recalled later, “You might as well not bring a bat up there anymore. You have the same chance.” Then he went and found his regular place on the dugout rail.

Pederson’s home run in Game 4 capped a five-run ninth inning for the Dodgers. Here are their most recent five-run postseason innings:

  • 2017 World Series Game 4 (9th inning)
  • 2017 NLCS Game 5 (3rd)
  • 2008 NLCS Game 3 (1st)
  • 2008 NLDS Game 2 (2nd)
  • 1988 World Series Game 2 (3rd)

Astros closer Ken Giles took the loss in Game 4, having faced three batters without retiring a single one. Giles has an 11.74 ERA in 7 innings this postseason, including allowing five runs while recording five outs in the World Series.

Giles has allowed at least one run in six of his seven postseason appearances, matching Jose Mesa of the 1997 Indians for most such games allowing a run in a single postseason.

Huddle up

About that pregame huddle in the Dodgers’ dugout, Yu Darvish revealed what was said: