LOS ANGELES — Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson had a painful night on Tuesday against the Cardinals, running into both of his outfield teammates on different plays. He exited the game after the second of those plays, suffering a neck strain.
Pederson and right fielder Yasiel Puig were both running hard trying to track down a drive by Yadier Molina with two outs in the 10th. Puig ultimately made the catch, but in doing so crashed into Pederson at full speed, sending both players sprawling to the ground.
“We both went all out for it, and didn’t want it to drop,” Puig said.
Pederson was hit in the head by Puig, then hit his head on the base of the wall in right center field after falling to the ground.
“It’s almost like he got into a car accident. He’s got cuts on the forehead and the arm. He took an elbow to the jaw, hit his head against the wall. There is limited range of motion when he turns to his right,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We know there is going to be some soreness, but for right now, no DL.”
Though a disabled list stint could be on the table in the near future, like when the Dodgers need to activate Kenta Maeda to start Thursday’s series finale. It seems likely that Pederson will likely miss a few days.
“My neck is stiff,” Pederson said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow, then go from there.”
Puig was on the ground for a while too grabbing his side, though he stayed in the game.
“Initially, I thought we lost both guys,” Roberts said. “Once he said he could come back in and play, and I got verification from the training staff, I didn’t want to ask too many more questions.”
Both Roberts and Puig said they think Puig will play on Wednesday, though Puig was also favoring his left ribs after the game.
“Hopefully tomorrow there is no pain and I can go out there and try to win again,” Puig said.
It was the second collision of the game for Pederson, who had Cody Bellinger run into him while making a catch in deep left center field in the seventh inning.
At issue for Pederson with the stiff neck is his inability to turn his head to his right, which for a left-handed hitter is death. The good news is that Pederson passed the tests in the concussion protocol.
Though both players were sore after the game, Puig didn’t lose his sense of humor, when asked if he talked to Pederson after the collision.
“He feels great, but he can’t look at me from the side,” Puig said.
Rich Hill takes the mound on Wednesday night in the second game of the series, another 7:10 p.m. PT start. Mike Leake gets the start for the Cardinals.