Wild stats from Joc’s historic three-homer game vs. Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The night that Joc Pederson had on Tuesday would be the best of just about any player’s career, and it certainly stands as Pederson’s best in a regular-season game. But when he sits back with his kids one day and looks back at his most important homers, none of the three he hit in a thrilling 13-12 win over the New York Mets will stand out.
Pederson has 12 career postseason home runs, including five in the World Series. On the biggest stage, he seems to be at his best, repeatedly coming through with game-changing blasts. There’s a reason he won rings each of the last two seasons. There’s a reason they refer to it as “Joctober” when he gets going.
The Giants knew all about Pederson’s reputation when they signed him, and not just because he spent so many years hitting homers off of them with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler worked for the Dodgers in 2017 when Pederson, 25 at the time, hit three homers in a World Series that they likely would have won if not for foul play by the Houston Astros.
Kapler has seen Pederson come through in huge spots for years. It’s shocking when any player gets a three-homer game, but it was not particularly surprising to Kapler when Pederson kept his heartbeat in check and blasted a game-tying shot into McCovey Cove.
“I don’t know if it’s like a nature or a nurture thing, but clearly it’s been the case throughout his career,” Kapler said. “Even as a minor league player he came up in big moments and did big things. He has a reputation for being a great late-season and playoff performer for a reason, it’s because he just kind of embodies that ‘I’m the same in the first inning as I am in the ninth, I’m the same in the biggest part of the game as I am when there’s not as much on the line.’ It means he can bring himself to a calm place and channel any emotion that he’s having. He’s just really good at that.”
Pederson showed that calm demeanor in the eighth, hitting a Cove shot that tied the game after the Giants had allowed seven runs in the top of the inning.
Here’s a partial list of history and fun facts that the third homer led to:
— Pederson became the first Giant to hit three multi-run homers in a game since Willie Mays in 1961. Mays did it in his four-homer game, hitting a three-run homer, two two-run homers and a solo shot.
— Mays had eight RBI that day, which is tied for the San Francisco Giants record. The two others who share it are Orlando Cepeda and Brandon Crawford, who did it three years ago in Colorado. Crawford was in the on-deck circle when Pederson got his eighth and he won the game a few moments later. The walk-off was Crawford’s sixth in the big leagues.
— Pederson became the second Giants player to hit three homers in a game at Oracle Park. The other, of course, is Pablo Sandoval, who did it in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series:
— Pederson joined Ryan Klesko as the only players to have a Splash Hit as a Giant and as an opponent. Klesko did it with the Padres and Giants; Pederson did it for the first time in 2016 when he came in with the Dodgers.
— And finally, this wild one that ties Pederson to Joe DiMaggio:
Tonight Joc Pederson of the @SFGiants:
-hit 3 HR
-had 8 RBI
-had a game-tying RBI in both the 8th & 9th innings
Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, only one other MLB player has accomplished all 3 of those single-game feats in his entire career: Joe DiMaggio.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 25, 2022
It was a historic night, and it all started with Barry Bonds helping Pederson lock-in with a lengthy pregame conversation. Bonds’ words were in Pederson’s head all night, including in the ninth when he reminded himself to relax and just do what the Giants needed.
On a night when just about anything he touched left the ballpark, Pederson kept a good approach against dominant Mets closer Edwin Diaz and smoked a game-tying single up the middle. It was his fifth batted ball at 100 mph or above and his fourth at 108-plus.
“I didn’t get too big and I was able to put a nice swing on a tough pitch,” he said of his final hit. “It would have been easy to try to hit a fourth homer and you roll over and the game is over.”