It’s Joctober in Atlanta. Joc Pederson has become the player of the hour for the Atlanta Braves, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does he wear pearls, but he also rakes at the plate. He was the difference-maker, along with stellar pitching, on Monday afternoon as the Braves won 3-0 for the second game in a row to take a 2-1 NLDS lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. Pederson stepped up and hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the fifth, providing all of the offense his team would need from the bench in another game where runs proved difficult to come by.
It was his third pinch-hit hit of the series, and it gives the Braves the opportunity to close it out at home on Tuesday in Game 4. Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants retook control of their NLDS with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night. Having won Game 1, they lost Game 2 on Saturday only to come back on the road and claim a critical win in Game 3. It was just a single run that came as well, as Evan Longoria homered in the top of the fifth to eventually win it. Brandon Crawford made a spectacular leaping grab in the seventh to deny the defending champs and the baseball gods denied Gavin Lux what seemed to be a sure-fire tying homer in the ninth when the wind gusted and prevented it from going out. Those are the breaks you need sometimes, and now the Giants can close out the series at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night with a ‘W.’