Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vs. Joc Pederson Is The GREATEST Head-To-Head Matchup In HR Derby History….
Some may say that this is a major STRETCH; but I don’t care. Vladdy Jr. vs. Pederson is the GREATEST head-to-head matchup in HR Derby HISTORY.
To start off, for those who are unaware, the new derby rules were instituted in 2015. So instead of each hitter having 10 “outs,” they were put up against a clock. And before that clock hit zero, they had to hit as many dingers as they possibly could.
Having said that, it’s fair to say that the new derby format is ALOT more exciting than the old one. The “beat the clock” mentality puts fans at the edge of their seats, and gives us that real and honest reaction from the participants.
BUT, looking at the derbys that have happened since 2015, you would be a FOOL to say that you’ve found a better matchup than this. I mean, these two combatants hit 79 homers COMBINED…………ON THREE TIE-BREAKERS.
Take the first round for instance; Vladdy Jr. put up a MONSTER 29 dingers to continue his dominance. When that happened, I’m sure everyone watching in the ballpark NOT from LA was thinking; “Ok, this one’s over.”
BUT, Joc was NOT done there! He stepped up to the plate and put up a MASTERFUL 29 homers of his own to tie it all up. It was a MIRACULOUS comeback; one that had EVERYONE going bonkers in the stands. Hell, it was one that had ME going bonkers in my living room. Reason being is because; we were going into a TIEBREAKER!
Yes, a TIEBREAKER; also known as overtime in other sports. It’s that beautiful moment full of intensity, drama, and announcers screaming; “WHAT WILL HAPPEN?!?” And in this tiebreaker, it was one-minute periods of baseballs being SMACKED in all different directions.
HOWEVER, surprisingly enough, we were STILL TIED after that. Which meant we were going into………A SWING-OFF!
(Insert Deleted Tweet That Says Kellen Wants A Swing-Off). I CAN’T BELIEVE I DELETED THAT TWEET!!
In this swing-off, Vladdy and Joc each had three swings a piece to move them into the final round. At first, I thought this was going to be a ridiculous piece of the format. BUT, after I watched Pederson go down to a FINAL SWING to try and win it, it changed my mind COMPLETELY!
And I was in luck, because they actually went into a SECOND SWING-OFF! Think about it like this; we’ve NEVER seen a swing-off in a derby before, and now we are seeing TWO in the same matchup??? That was some UNPRECEDENTED shit we witnessed, and it will NOT be soon forgotten.
Surprisingly though, we DID have a winner in all of this. To be real, it didn’t actually go on forever like some people thought it would. Vladdy Jr. ended up moving on after Joc failed to convert his final two swings into dingers. And to be honest, it’s tough to say the word “failed” there after the SHOW that those two put on.
But sadly enough, Vladdy couldn’t keep his streak going in the final round against a well-rested Pete Alonso. The son of the great Vladimir Guerrero lost to the Mets star rookie 23-22, ending his hopes of a Derby Crown. (But we’ll discuss that more in a future article….)
“Ok Kellen, it’s the best matchup so far; but you can’t say that it’s the best one EVER! That’s just being ignorant.”
You’re right “anonymous article critic,” that is a rather ignorant thing to say at this point. Vladdy and Joc are still very young, so they could meet up again later on in their careers. But will they MATCH their spectacular performance from 2019? Doubtful, but could happen.
What were your thoughts on the Derby last night? Let me know in the comments section below, or tweet me at @KShermanSports