SAN FRANCISCO — Joc Pederson turned a pair of pregame chats with home run king Barry Bonds into the best night of his career — and a night of heartbreak for the Mets.
The Giants outfielder homered three times and drove in a career-high eight runs, including a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning, tormenting the Mets after New York’s six-run comeback as the Giants won 13-12 on Tuesday in one of the wildest games imaginable.
“Just getting knowledge from such a good hitter and the way he thinks about baseball and hitting, it just helped to connect some dots to free my mind up at the plate,” Pederson said. “I’m not ever going to be Barry Bonds. He’s the best hitter to touch a bat. But it definitely helped free my mind up in the box.”
Pederson was preparing for the game when he and teammate LaMonte Wade Jr. spent 30 minutes with Bonds in the Giants’ clubhouse. Pederson and Bonds chatted again in a private office before Pederson politely excused himself.
“The next thing you know it was like 6:25 p.m. and I was like, `I gotta go,’” Pederson said.
San Francisco squandered an 8-2 cushion by giving up two runs in the seventh and seven in the eighth to fall behind 11-8. Pederson tied it with a three-run homer in the bottom half, but the Giants trailed 12-11 in the ninth before rallying with two outs and none on to stun New York and end their five-game losing streak.
“He was joking about it after his first one, about talking to Barry,” Giants starter Logan Webb said of Pederson. “Then he hit the second, then he hit the third and it was like, man, this guy is something else. You’re not going to cheat him with anything. He’s trying to do that every at-bat.”
Pederson launched a pair of two-run homers off Mets starter Chris Bassitt. San Francisco’s slumping cleanup hitter then crushed his third homer of the night, a three-run drive into McCovey Cove off reliever Drew Smith with two outs in the eighth to erase New York’s 11-8 lead.
“He had a good night against us,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “We missed a lot of locations with fastballs tonight. That’s not the way we’ve been doing it for the most part, so tonight was a challenge for us.”
Pederson was 4-for-46 in May before his big day.
“It was probably the best individual offensive performance that I’ve ever been around, considering all things like big moments in the game and the necessity to be resilient even in that last at-bat,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[Written in collaboration with other media outlets with information from the following sources]