Big players shine when it counts. Corey Seager, 29, the “big shortstop” who won the MVP award after leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to the 2020 World Series title, is in full swing to help the Texas Rangers win their first World Series title in 62 years.
Seager started Game 1 of the best-of-seven 2023 Major League Baseball World Series (WS-7) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday and went 1-for-4 with a double, two walks and three runs scored, including a dramatic, game-tying two-run home run in the ninth inning.
Seager’s clutch homer saved Texas from defeat, and Adolis Garcia’s walk-off blast in the 11th inning gave the Rangers a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The thrilling come-from-behind victory clinched a World Series berth.
Trailing 3-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, Texas faced Arizona closer Paul Seawald. Prior to this appearance, Seawald was 1-6 with a save in eight postseason games, allowing just one run on eight hits and one walk while striking out 11 in eight innings of work. It looked like he was going to be a tough nut to crack, but a single from Seager changed everything.
After leadoff hitter Leandro Taveras walked, Marcus Simeon struck out on three pitches to end the threat. But behind Seamian was Seager. He took a 93.6 mph (150.6 km/h) four-seam fastball high on the plate and swung at it with lightning speed. It hit 112.6 mph (181.2 km/h), traveled 418 feet (127.4 meters), and cleared the right-field fence with a 33-degree launch angle.토스카지노
After realizing he had hit a home run, Seager looked toward the Texas first base dugout and roared. In his official postgame interview, Seager said, “The game isn’t over until all the outs are made. I was just trying to keep making good at-bats in the ninth inning and in extra innings,” he said of his emotions after the home run, adding, “Of course I was excited. It was fun. This is the playoffs. It was a really cool moment.” He’s not normally an emotional player, but his outburst in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros has been a huge energy booster for Texas.
Texas manager Bruce Bochy said, “Seager showed that emotion in Houston. He might have taken it to another level today. It’s hard to hit a bigger home run than that in the ninth inning when you’re down two runs.” “Seager saved us. He got everybody excited. He was awesome.” His nemesis, Arizona manager Torrey Lovullo, said, “Seager is a big player. He knows how to make big plays. He’s been playing at a very high level for a long time.”
MLB.com also said, “Seager has been the talk of the clubhouse all month in the postseason. As the calendar flips to October, he’s only going to get more attention. Just look at his previous postseason history. The 2020 World Series MVP pushed his postseason slash line to .327/.484/.673 this year. His 17 postseason home runs are third among shortstops behind Derek Jeter (20) and Carlos Correa (18). His 14 walks are tied with Ian Kinsler for the most by a Texas player in a single postseason, and he is one of 16 players with 40 or more walks in a postseason.
Texas rookie third baseman Josh Young said, “It’s almost like the script was written for Seager. The at-bats he makes in big situations are unbelievable. When he came up to bat in the ninth inning, I was like, ‘Something great is going to happen.'” Another rookie outfielder, Evan Carter, emphasized Seager’s presence by saying, “All the guys are coming through in big moments. Having veterans like Seager and Garcia around gives me a lot of confidence.”
Texas is one of six franchises that has yet to win a World Series title, and the oldest of them all. They went 62 years without one after being founded in 1961 until last year. They showed their intent to win by signing free agent Max Scherzer to a 10-year, $325 million deal after the 2021 season. In his second year, Seager missed the first month of the season with a hamstring injury, but hit .327 (156-for-477) with 33 homers, 96 RBIs and a 1.013 OPS in 119 games. In fall ball, he’s also batting 3-for-7 (16-for-49) with four home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.157 OPS in 13 games, leading the Texas Nucleus alongside Garcia.
Seeger’s performance must be a bitter pill to swallow for his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the second year in a row, the Dodgers were upset in the Division Series due to a batting silence. It’s hard not to wish they had Seager in the big games. The Dodgers tried to get Seager, but they couldn’t beat Texas’ terms due to differences in payroll and state taxes. Texas guaranteed $140 million over the first four years with no deferred salary payments, and unlike California, the Dodgers only had to pay federal taxes, not state taxes, so Seager was able to keep more of his earnings.
Despite these differences, the Dodgers had Trey Turner (Philadelphia Phillies), a former All-Star shortstop who played second base. They didn’t need to hang on to the less durable Seager. It’s ultimately a consequential decision, but the Dodgers will be glad they didn’t pursue Seager more aggressively at the time.