Corey Seager isn’t ready to go home.
In a must-win Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Braves at Globe Life Field on Friday, the Dodgers shortstop hit a pair of home runs, with the second giving Los Angeles a commanding five-run lead in the seventh inning
In a must-win Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Braves at Globe Life Field on Friday, the Dodgers shortstop hit a pair of home runs, with the second giving Los Angeles a commanding five-run lead in the seventh inning of its 7-3 victory.
The 26-year-old has been making his mark in the NLCS. Seager’s 10 RBIs, to this point, are the most by a Dodgers player in a postseason series. His four homers in the series tie Steve Garvey (1978 NLCS) and Duke Snider (‘52 and ‘55 World Series) for most by a Dodger in a playoff series.
“It’s been amazing [to watch him play],” said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. “I didn’t know much before I came over. I just knew he was a good shortstop, he could swing it a little bit. Getting to see him day in and day out is definitely a blessing. I have really one job, and that’s to get on base and stay there, pretty much, until he hits me in — which doesn’t take too long.”
Seager’s first home run was a massive Statcast-estimated 415-foot shot off lefty Tyler Matzek in the fourth to score the Dodgers’ first run of the night and cut the Braves’ advantage to 2-1. Los Angeles gained offensive momentum from there, setting the stage for Seager’s second homer three innings later — a Statcast-projected 413-foot blast against Jacob Webb.
“That guy is something else,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He is a tough out. He battles. He never gives an at-bat away. He’s a very dangerous and impressive hitter.”
However, this sort of success on this stage isn’t something Seager has enjoyed much of previously. Up until this year, his playoff appearances had mostly been marked by struggles at the plate, as exemplified by his batting averages in his first four postseasons: .188 (2015), .205 (’16), .237 (’17), .150 (’19). His OPS topped out at .743 in ’17, compared to 1.251 this year.
He entered 2020 with three postseason homers in 31 games. He’s added five more in just 10 games this year.
“I think that’s a lot of it — he’s healthy, he’s been healthy, he’s had a tremendous year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The experience that he’s had in the postseason, all that stuff is lining up. For me, right now, there’s no better player.”
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 17, 2020
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