ATLANTA, Georgia As Joc Pederson puts it, “not making any occasion bigger than it needs to be” is the key to his playoff success.
Pinch-Hit Homer and the Braves Shut Down
The Atlanta Braves were on the verge of progressing further in the playoffs when Pederson delivered yet another shock.
He kept up his “Joctober” reputation by hitting a three-run, pinch-hit homer and the Braves shut down Milwaukee once more, defeating the Brewers 3-0 on Monday to grab a commanding lead in their NL Division Series.
Pederson described his fifth-inning home run as “very remarkable”. The ability to make a great impression at such a crucial time was “really wonderful.”
Ian Anderson and the Braves bullpen combined for a five-hitter in a matchup dominated by pitching and won the game 3-0 for the second time in a row.
The National League Championship Series
Atlanta has a chance to reach the National League Championship Series for the second time in three years when it hosts Game 4 on Tuesday.
Pederson’s home run against Adrian Houser was his second of the series. As a pinch-hitter, Pederson singled and drove in four of Atlanta’s seven runs in this series.
Pederson’s longballs helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series last year, as he has 11 playoff home runs to his credit. As a free agent in the offseason, he signed with the Chicago Cubs before being sent to the Atlanta Braves in the summer of his second season.
“He’s been in the big moment, the big stage, and he’s performed and the guys appreciate that,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
The NL Central Champion Brewers
The NL Central champion Brewers have gone 19 innings without scoring since their series opener. They went 0 for 8 with the bases loaded and no one on base.
When asked about the team’s offensive slump, manager Craig Counsell replied, “We’re in it. We swung the bats better today, in my opinion. To put it bluntly, we need a reprieve.”
Anderson threw a five-inning gem for the Braves, allowing just three hits while striking out six. To earn his second series save, Will Smith, the Braves’ fourth reliever, delivered a perfect ninth inning.
Freddy Peralta threw four scoreless innings for Milwaukee before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the fifth inning.
Single to Open the Fifth Inning for Houser
Travis d’Arnaud and Swanson both hit a single to open the fifth inning for Houser. Anderson took a 3-0 lead on Pederson’s RBI single to right field, which he scored on a high inside fastball that went deep into the stands.
It didn’t seem horrible to me, but I’ll give him credit for trying,” Counsell said of the pitch.
He shrugged when asked how he managed to pull off the high pitch for the home run, saying, “I guess I am very decent player, I don’t know. “It was knocked out of the yard.”
Duvall’s Baserunning Error
It was Adam Duvall’s baserunning error that allowed Austin Riley to score from third on d’Arnaud’s flyball in the second inning. Before Riley could score, left fielder Christian Yelich got a strike to Duvall, ending Atlanta’s threat.
After batting just.183 in the first two games, the Brewers fell to the Cardinals, 3-0, in Game 2. Counsell just made one change to his starting lineup, bringing in Luis Uras to replace Eduardo Escobar at third base.
After putting runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth, the Brewers were unable to score. Omar Narváez’s double advanced Uras to third base after he was struck by a pitch.
Lorenzo Cain’s Short Grounder
A diving Swanson deflected Lorenzo Cain’s short grounder, allowing Anderson to escape with one out. After pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach’s grounder to third, Uras was caught in a rundown, and Kolten Wong lined out to first baseman Freddie Freeman to finish the inning.
After Luke Jackson had walked Jace Peterson and given up a one-out single to Willy Adames, Swanson produced a spectacular double play to finish the eighth.
The Insightful Pearls
He still wore the pearl necklace that became part of his uniform at the end of the season at his postgame press conference. He claims the pearls are genuine and were custom-made for him by his jewellery designer.
When asked about the necklace, he responded, “It drew my eye because of the pearls.”
The Cain Crashes
CF Brewers of the Milwaukee Trying to catch Duvall’s fourth-inning homer, Cain smashed into the wire barrier at full speed. Before he fell to the ground and lost possession of the ball, Cain had it in his glove. Despite Duvall’s two-out triple, Cain remained seated.
A trainer and Counsell came to Cain’s aid, and he remained in the game. Peralta ended the inning by striking out Eddie Rosario.
Counsell said the man was lucky to have only jammed his shoulder. Tomorrow might be a little sore, but I’m upbeat about it.
The Trip to Bobby’s
Snitker said he met with Bobby Cox, a Hall of Fame coach, on Sunday. Since suffering a stroke in 2019, 80-year-old Cox has made only sporadic visits to Truist Park.
Snitker stated, “He’s ecstatic.” “He’s enthused and glued to the television.”
“Snitker added that Cox is “hanging in there” and that he had a pleasant visit. “He was ecstatic and pumped up about everything,” I can tell you.
The E-5 Fan’s Point of View
When Chipper Jones, the Braves’ Hall of Fame third baseman, settled into his box seat near the Atlanta dugout, he probably didn’t expect to be hit by a pitch. But it happened.
Jones didn’t bring his glove, but he should have.
In the second inning, the television cameras captured the moment that Jones dropped a pop foul hit by Uras.