by Cary Osborne
There was a time during Joc Pederson’s career when results would tell him how he was hitting.
And it proved frustrating.
For a player who’s been an All-Star and a stellar performer in a World Series, the results of the early part of 2018 could have been maddening.
But this is a wiser, maturing Joc Pederson — one able to handle the fact that he, a power hitter, had one home run heading into June.
Now, this wiser, patient and faithful 26-year-old, who has continued to apply the teaching of hitting coaches, has been a significant reason for the jump in Dodger offense this month and overall team success.
Pederson went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the second inning and two doubles as the Dodgers beat the Texas Rangers on Tuesday 12–5 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are now two games over .500 for the first time this season.
Pederson, who came into June with one homer, a .246 batting average and a .718 OPS, now has eight homers, a .287 average and a .923 OPS.
“What I used to do in the past was worry about the results, but now the results are kind of behind door two,” Pederson said. “So, I just (trust the process). I used to get really frustrated over not getting the results there, and I would hop on things, hop off things instead of sticking to the process. If the results aren’t there, hopefully they’re there tomorrow. And you know they’ll be there if you put in the same consistent work every day.”
Pederson said he’s been seeing the ball well all season and hitting the ball hard. The difference is he has started to hit the ball in the air with force this month.
He is 13-for-27 at the plate this month, hitting .481/.481/1.444 with seven home runs and five doubles.
“You look at all the players on the roster, I think the player who has probably grown the most, in my opinion, is probably Joc,” said manager Dave Roberts. “He started off slow this year, didn’t have a great Spring (Training). But to trust the work he was putting in on a daily basis, and he’s been relentless with that, and it’s kind of showing itself right now. It’s a credit to him, the coaches and the trust. Joc’s really been a big part of what we’re doing.”
With the 12 runs scored on Tuesday, the Dodgers have now scored a Major League-high 84 runs in the month in 10 games. The Dodgers have hit 29 homers in those games.
Pederson was one of three Dodgers to homer on Tuesday — joining Max Muncy (who hit his team-leading 13th in the third inning) and Yasiel Puig, who hit a two-run shot in the fourth.
The trio of homers all came off 45-year-old Rangers starter Bartolo Colon, who was chased in the Dodgers’ seven-run fourth inning.
All eight starting position players reached base in the game with seven collecting hits, including Justin Turner, who was 2-for-5 with a double in his first game since last Thursday.
Caleb Ferguson, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday when Walker Buehler was placed on the 10-day disabled list, made his first career start at Dodger Stadium and went four innings, allowing five hits, two walks and two earned runs, while striking out three.