WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark's first pitch to Corey Seager on Sunday came in high and tight. The Dodgers rookie phenom brushed it off, and three pitches later, he deposited a 3-0 fastball into the right-field seats.In terms of an emphatic response, it was all the Dodgers could have asked. But
WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark's first pitch to Corey Seager on Sunday came in high and tight. The Dodgers rookie phenom brushed it off, and three pitches later, he deposited a 3-0 fastball into the right-field seats.
In terms of an emphatic response, it was all the Dodgers could have asked. But ultimately, it wasn't enough as Roark and the Nationals rallied for a 5-2 victory in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. The series is now tied, 1-1, as it heads to Los Angeles for Monday's Game 3 (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on MLB Network).
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Despite the loss, Seager etched his name in postseason lore with his second first-inning home run in as many games. His moonshot off Max Scherzer on Friday made Seager the youngest player in Dodgers history to hit a home run in the postseason -- and it didn't take long for him to earn the No. 2 spot on that list as well.
"Whatever it is, it's something that you're looking for early," Seager said when asked about his fast starts. "Unfortunately, today, it didn't work out."
Sunday's blast traveled a projected 395 feet, according to Statcast™, and it left Seager's bat with a 106.9-mph exit velocity. Roark allowed only one homer to a left-handed hitter all year with a higher exit velocity, and that was hit by Seager's teammate, Yasmani Grandal, on June 21 (108.6 mph).
In Seager's third at-bat, Roark came inside with a first-pitch fastball once again. But the frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year downplayed any talk of intent.
"Their game plan was to come in," Seager said. "Two of them got away, and that's about it. There's nothing to really read into."
Seager became the first shortstop to launch two homers in a Division Series since Stephen Drew in 2007. The Division Series record for home runs by a shortstop is three, set by Nomar Garciaparra in 1998.
With the pair of homers, Seager became just the fourth player in history to hit multiple DS blasts before his 23rd birthday. He joined Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Brian McCann in doing so. Only 15 players in baseball history have homered twice in the playoffs before turning 23, and the list is an impressive one, featuring the likes of Harper, Mickey Mantle, Miguel Cabrera, Jimmie Foxx, Albert Pujols and Johnny Bench.
Seager also became the first Dodgers hitter to go deep in consecutive playoff games since Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe each did so in Games 3 and 4 of the 2013 NLDS. The franchise record for consecutive postseason games with a homer is three, set by Bill Madlock in 1985.
The home run helped chase Roark early, but the Nationals' bullpen would shut down the Dodgers from there. Seager finished 1-for-5.
"You did what you were looking for in getting the starter out early," Seager said. "Unfortunately, we missed that big hit against the bullpen."
AJ Cassavell is in his sixth season as a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.