Funny thing is, he did call it.
Called the next one, too.
“I was messing around with the bullpen coaches, Flip [Rob Flippo] and Fumi (Ishibashi), and I was telling them ‘first at-bat today make sure you stand up. I’m going to try to hit you guys a home run.’ Then I did it.
“(Tuesday) night I said the same thing. ‘Hey, Flip, be ready, I might hit a home run. Make sure you have your glove on.’ I hit another one.”
Federowicz had not hit a home run in 38 career at-bats before Saturday, when he teed off in the third inning against Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
Federowicz started Sunday in Denver, did not make any predictions, and went 0 for 4.
True to his prediction, Federowicz homered again Tuesday against San Diego Padres left-hander Clayton Richard in the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Entering Wednesday’s game against the Padres, Federowicz had two home runs and five RBIs in his previous 13 at-bats.
Is he clairvoyant? Maybe.
Maybe he’s just feeling good at the plate. It’s certainly no coincidence that Federowicz is heating up while starting on a daily basis for the first time as a major leaguer, the result of a groin injury to starting catcher A.J. Ellis.
“It’s good now to get those four at-bats a game where you can actually see some pitches, work some counts,,” Federowicz said, “rather than having to go up and be aggressive against somebody you’ve never seen before.”
The home run against Richard was a good example. The left-hander started him off with a pair of fastballs at 92 and 91 mph. Federowicz fouled off a pair of changeups to bring the count to 1-2. Richard came back with another fastball over the plate. By then, Federowicz had seen it before.
“I knew he really had nothing that would beat me,” the catcher said. “It was a little more comforting. I was able to put a good swing on a good pitch.”
“You’ve got to go up there and you can’t be afraid to get beat,” Federowicz said. “You don’t know how hard the guy’s throwing, so you have to go up there and be aggressive. You can’t afford to take a fastball. They stressed the importance of not being overaggressive and kind of look for your zone, put on a good swing.”
Nor will the 25-year-old be overaggressive in his predictions.
“I don’t want to jinx it and do it every day,” Federowicz said. “I might save it for a little occasion.”
Flippo, who confirmed Federowicz’s account of the predictions, had one request: “I told him, you’ve got to hit it in the bullpen, otherwise I can’t catch it.”