Don’t mess with Joc Pederson. Some Milwaukee fans found that out the hard way Monday night.
With the Giants trailing the Brewers 1-0 in the eighth inning, the Bay Area native strolled up to the plate at American Family Field.
Milwaukee’s pitching staff had cruised through San Francisco’s lineup all night. Corbin Burnes, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, whiffed 11 batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Two of those strikeouts were of Pederson, and Brewers fans reminded him of that fact while he was in the batter’s box.
As the chirps poured in from the bleachers, Pederson stepped out of the box and glared into the stands. After stepping back in, he took one pitch – a 92-mph cutter that missed inside -- before whacking a sinker off former Giants pitcher Trevor Gott into the right-field seats, giving San Francisco its first lead of the game.
Pederson triumphantly tossed his bat, pounded his chest twice and made sure to stare into the stands after his two-run homer.
There’s no better way to put hecklers in their place.
"They were talking s--t," Pederson said on NBC Sports Bay Area's "Giants Postgame Live" after the 4-2 win. "I don't know. I mean, what are you going to do? It got me a little fired up. I think that's what it's all about."
Pederson has a long, heated history with the Brewers. He’s been on the roster of the team that ended Milwaukee’s season in three of the last four years -- the 2018 NLCS and 2020 wild-card round with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and last postseason in the NLDS with the Atlanta Braves.
Last fall, Pederson went 3 for 3 with two homers in the first three games of the NLDS against Milwaukee -- amazingly, all as a pinch-hitter. He’s also smacked 14 homers against the Brewers over his career (including playoff games), his most against any non-NL West team.
So, if you're an opposing fan at a Giants game this season, think twice before you chirp at Joc.