This was originally a big chunk of this morning’s would-have-been Cubs Bullets, but the database meltdown robbed us of that post. So now it’s some light, in-game reading for you …
It was great to see Joc Pederson get his first hit of the year – a no-doubt homer – and celebrate it accordingly yesterday, because *of course* it starts to get into your head a little bit. Now we can put that to bed, and just observe as he hopefully gets himself into a rhythm. Ironically, it seems his scorching spring may have kinda hurt him in that regard (The Athletic):
“I made some adjustments in the offseason, and in spring training they worked out really well,” Pederson explained. “So when things are going right, it’s hard to understand what the fixes and adjustments are because I changed things up. Then you add some pressure and try to get hits, try to do whatever and you’re searching to try and get that feel back.
“It’s not the same adjustments it’s been in the past, so it’s a learning curve. Which I kind of knew coming in because of how spring went and I didn’t struggle too bad, so there wasn’t much I had to change. So just getting back comfortable in the box again.”
In other words, Pederson made some swing changes in the offseason (you can see it in his stance, among other things), and it all clicked really well in Spring Training, so there wasn’t as much to dissect with it. Then the regular season arrives, and he’s clearly off with his timing. So then you have to break down where the issues are coming from … but it’s a new swing, and you didn’t get a chance to do this work in Spring Training because it was all working then. So now it’s like he first has to adjust to the need to adjust, and then he can adjust! Add in the pressure to get that first hit (plus the whole offense scuffling), and it’s kind of a bad situation.
Fortunately, it’s been six games, and he has a long track record of offensive success. He’s staying positive:
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One more on the homer – the waffle maker is back:
joc yelling at the waffle maker is what i needed today pic.twitter.com/OCOVlB83G3
— navooo (@kboomszn) April 7, 2021
You may recall that the waffle maker traces back a few years to Ian Happ and Tommy La Stella, showing up with the thing because they knew their teammates were gonna make a lotta waffles (aka, hit the ball hard). Please: more waffles.