ARLINGTON, Texas — Mookie Betts‘ third-inning shoestring catch altered the momentum and Will Smith‘s sixth-inning residence run off his namesake proved to be the distinction, however all all through, there was Corey Seager, a forgotten man on this star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers crew, producing like he has by the whole thing of his resurgent season.
Seager homered twice within the Dodgers’ 7-3, season-saving victory over the Atlanta Braves in Sport 5 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night time, giving him 10 RBIs this week — probably the most in an LCS since Nelson Cruz set the file with 13 in 2011.
He may need two extra video games to catch him.
“That man is one thing else,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “He is a kind of guys who by no means provides an at-bat away. It is very spectacular. He is a harmful, spectacular hitter.”
All through this collection, because the Dodgers have struggled to string collectively constant offense in opposition to the Braves’ vaunted pitching employees, Seager has acted as a constant drive from the No. 2 spot, compiling eight hits, six of them for further bases, in 20 at-bats. Because the begin of the postseason, he is batting .342/.409/.842. Because the begin of the common season, he is batting .312/.366/.624.
“He is wholesome, he is been wholesome, he is had an incredible 12 months, the expertise he is had within the postseason — all of it’s lining up proper now,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned. “For me, there is no higher participant.”
With the Dodgers trailing by two within the fourth, and 18 outs separating them from a shocking elimination, Seager launched a excessive fastball 415 ft out to straightaway middle area to chop his crew’s deficit in half. With two outs within the seventh, and the Dodgers wanting so as to add on with an unsure bullpen scenario, Seager turned on a first-pitch, 95-mph fastball down the center and launched it 413 ft to right-center.
The 26-year-old shortstop grew to become the third Dodgers participant with a multi-homer recreation when his crew was dealing with elimination, becoming a member of Adrian Gonzalez (2013 NLCS) and Shawn Inexperienced (2004 NL Division Sequence). He’s now the fifth participant in main league historical past with 4 residence runs and 10 RBIs in a single postseason collection, becoming a member of Giancarlo Stanton (2020 American League Division Sequence), Cruz (2011 ALCS), B.J. Upton (2008 ALCS) and Jim Thome (1999 ALDS).
“I am simply placing good swings on good pitches proper now,” Seager mentioned, “and all the things is form of clicking.”
That feeling eluded him final 12 months. Seager was coming off hip surgical procedure, a process carried out in direction of the tail finish of his season-long restoration from Tommy John surgical procedure, and he wasn’t at full power as he navigated by 2019. He wasn’t robust sufficient in his decrease half. Because the arduous season carried on, that lack of power oftentimes led to indiscernible adjustments in his mechanics that in the end sapped his manufacturing. He completed that season batting .272/.335/.483. Good, however a far cry from his numbers in 2016 and 2017, when Seager emerged among the many finest younger shortstops within the sport.
He proved to be again among the many recreation’s elite gamers, however he started this month trying to redeem himself within the postseason, the place he had batted solely .203/.275/.331 in 31 prior video games. Alongside the best way, Seager mentioned, he realized to simplify his strategy and never place added strain on himself to hold an offense when the strain mounted, a mindset he hoped to use to this October.
Ten video games in, Seager has already collected 14 RBIs, tied with Justin Turner for probably the most by a Dodgers participant in a single postseason.
“I did not know a lot earlier than I came visiting,” Betts, the Dodgers’ new leadoff hitter, mentioned. “I simply knew he was a great shortstop who may swing it somewhat bit, and attending to see him day in and time out is unquestionably a blessing. I’ve actually one job — to get on base and keep there till he hits me in, which does not take too lengthy.”