Although Joc Pederson spent many years of his MLB career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he’s hoping to send them packing in the 2021 playoffs.
The 29-year-old’s Atlanta Braves are just two wins away from ending L.A.’s season, and it’s probably safe to assume that Pederson is enjoying every bit of it.
After being drafted by the Dodgers in 2010, spending seven seasons with the team at the MLB level, and winning a World Series title with L.A. in 2020, Pederson wasn’t re-signed by the organization last winter.
Make of that what you want, but motivation levels are almost certainly running high for Pederson as he faces his former team in the 2021 NLCS.
He’s playing like it, too.
The former Dodger has made a big impact for the Braves in this series against L.A. and throughout Atlanta’s entire playoff run.
Here’s the rundown.
Pederson’s NLCS At A Glance
Pederson has started in each of the first two games of the NLCS.
In Game 1, he went 1-for-3 with a single.
The Braves, of course, won that contest to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
In Game 2, he really made his old team pay.
With the Dodgers leading 2-0 in the fourth inning, he launched a game-tying blast to right field.
He was very fired up and emotional while rounding the bases.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 18, 2021
Atlanta got the best of L.A. in that game, too, leading us to our current series score of 2-0.
Game 2 wound up being a one-run game, so there’s no telling if the Braves would have come out on top without Pederson’s home run.
Overall, Pederson Is Having A Memorable Postseason So Far
In addition to Pederson’s strong showing so far in the NLCS, he also made some noise in Atlanta’s NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers.
He went 3-for-7 in that series and homered twice.
He finished the series with a ridiculous slash line of .429/.429/.1286, giving him an OPS of 1.714.
Overall, for the 2021 playoffs, he’s batting .357 with a 1.357 OPS.
This is what makes postseason baseball so much fun.
Pederson didn’t have a great regular season by any means.
In fact, he finished the regular season with a below-average OPS+ of 93 and a WAR of 0.0.
But the playoffs always represent a new slate, and Pederson has taken advantage of it this year.
That’s the case so often in baseball — players saving their years in the postseason.
It’s always a wonderful thing to see.
little bit of LOVE pic.twitter.com/WxYyxPqMM9
— Joc Pederson (@yungjoc650) October 17, 2021
For Pederson, thriving in the playoffs isn’t unfamiliar territory.
He has a career slash line of .279/.350/.545 over 70 postseason games.
He’ll look to keep it up as the NLCS continues.
Pederson and the Braves aren’t done yet.
The club still has a lot of work to do before it can start to celebrate a World Series berth.
Pederson needs to stay focused and continue to prove to L.A. that it made a mistake by letting him go.
The Dodgers were the beneficiaries of his postseason fireworks for many years, but now, they’re learning what it’s like to be on the other side of the stick.
Will Pederson and Atlanta finish the job?
Only time will tell.NEXT: Braves Succeeding In NLCS In Spite Of Freddie Freeman's Struggles