Seager makes playoff history with bat on his shoulder

October 10th, 2023

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers made a lot of noise with their bats on Sunday evening, putting up 11 runs on 11 hits amid an offensive outburst during an 11-8 win over Baltimore in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

They made less noise but were equally impactful on the basepaths, drawing 11 walks off the Orioles’ carousel of pitchers.

That part wasn’t as much of a team effort, though, as provided nearly half of them. The Rangers shortstop became the first player to tally five walks in a postseason game in AL/NL history.

“A great job from him,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “He’s not expanding [the zone]. … He’s getting on base. That’s what you're trying to do: Get guys on base, put pressure on them.”

The Rangers did that a lot in what was only the 10th instance of a team walking 11 times in a postseason game, one shy of the record that’s shared by the 2020 Yankees in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series and the 2005 Astros in Game 3 of the World Series.

Out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Seager was the table-setter.

“He’s being really stubborn with pitches he likes to swing at,” said Mitch Garver. “We know he likes to swing the bat. I think it was his fifth at-bat and he chased a 2-0 heater that was above his eyes. So, I think at that point he kind of wanted to hit. Really, really impressive being able to set the stage like that.”

Seventeen players had managed to draw four walks -- most recently Freddie Freeman for the Braves in Game 6 of the 2021 National League Championship Series -- but only Seager was able to reach five.

And he did it against four O’s hurlers, all right-handers: starter Grayson Rodriguez (twice) and relievers Bryan Baker, Jack Flaherty and Yennier Cano.

For Seager, it was just a natural extension of his regular approach.

“I don’t think it was anything different,” he said. “I just think we were trying to grind out pitches, and it just kind of happened, you know?”