MLB playoffs 2021 – Why Braves slugger Joc Pederson has former Cubs teammate Anthony Rizzo to thank for his NLDS heroics


For a team that lost 91 games, the Chicago Cubs are having quite an impact on the 2021 MLB playoffs.

Everywhere you turn, some recent ex-Cub is turning up as the latest October hero. The trend reached a ridiculous proportion with Monday’s NLDS contest between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.

In the bottom of the fifth, Braves pinch-hitter Joc Pederson became just the third player to hit two pinch hit homers in the same postseason, belting a three-run jack off Milwaukee righty Adrian Houser that accounted for all the scoring in the Braves’ 3-0 win.

As you either already know or no doubt have guessed, Pederson is a very recent ex-Cub, having been acquired from Chicago by Atlanta in mid-July for a prospect. Oh, but there’s more: the bat Pederson used to hit the game-turning bomb was one he “stole” from former Chicago teammate Anthony Rizzo.

Cameras during the broadcast caught Rizzo’s name on Pederson’s lumber. Asked about it during his on-field interview with after the game, Pederson told TBS, “I stole it from him when we were in Chicago. He’s got a lot of hits in it. So, thanks Big Horn.”

So Rizzo didn’t know?

“He just texted me,” Pederson said with a shrug. “Yeah, we’ll see.”

According to NBC Sports Chicago, Pederson first “borrowed” the bat – or at least a Rizzo model bat — back in May, when he rang out three hits in a loss to Cleveland.

Borrowing a teammate’s bat isn’t particularly unusual in the big leagues, nor is continuing to use it if it works. But taking it beyond state lines and to another franchise? That might be a new tradition.

It was Rizzo who helped get the ex-Cub home run parade off to a grand start this October, homering for the Yankees in a wild-card game loss at Boston. Rizzo’s homer came three innings after another recent former Cub – Kyle Schwarber – went deep for the Red Sox.

And so it has…

Source : espn

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