A run would likely have deflated the Mets and put the Dodgers in great position to get their third win in four games.
Mejia needed a strikeout and he got one, but it didn’t come easily.
The image above shows the sequence of pitches in the at-bat (the third pitch and fifth pitch are green because they were taken for balls).
Mejia repeatedly tried to get Pederson down and in, which was a risky move. If he left a pitch too far up, Pederson could crush it.
Pederson’s strength is within the area that represents the lower third of the strike zone. He’s hitting .304 with seven home runs and misses on only 18 percent of his swings in that area.
Six of Mejia’s eight pitches were in the lower third of the zone or below it. Pederson took one (the first pitch) for a strike, but also took one for a ball and fouled off the other four.
On the eighth pitch, the Mets changed their approach. Mejia went with a high fastball clocked at 94.5 mph. He threw it to the spot in the strike zone where Pederson has the most trouble -- an area where he misses on about half his swings.
He missed there for strike three and the second out.
One batter later, the Mets were out of the inning.
They won the game in the bottom of the frame on a Kenley Jansen pitch that didn’t get elevated as high as the one on which Pederson struck out.
Juan Uribe didn’t miss it. He crushed it for a game-winning hit.