Corey Seager has already played a significant role in countless games during his young career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet, Saturday night against the Cincinnati Reds somehow marked unchartered territory for the 23-year-old shortstop.
Seager’s game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth inning was his first career walk-off hit. Not just with the Dodgers or as a professional, but at any level since he began playing organized baseball in 1997 as a 3-year-old.
“Never (hit a walk-off) in high school, summer ball, Minor Leagues, nothing,” Seager said. “First one, it was pretty cool.” The double was his second of the game that eluded Scooter Gennett’s grasp.
Gennett misplayed the ball in the first inning, resulting in an RBI double. Seager leads the Dodgers with 16 two-baggers this season. He’s on pace to at least match his career high of 40 doubles, set last season.
When further pressed on the circumstances surrounding the walk-off double, Seager maintained there’d never been a prior instance in which he delivered a winning hit for any team he was a member of.
“Apparently I’m not any good at it,” Seager joked. “It took me 20 years to finally get one.” The news caught manager Dave Roberts and teammates Cody Bellinger and Alex Wood, among others, by surprise.
“That just means they don’t pitch to him,” Wood surmised. Each unequivocally agreed more walk-off hits lie in Seager’s future.
His walk-off double set in motion the customary celebration. Kiké Hernandez showered Seager with a pink liquid; Yasiel Puig, who scored the winning run, did the honor of dousing his teammate during the postgame interview.
“It was cold, that’s for sure,” Seager said. “The whole thing was fun, it’s exciting.” Typically, game balls of career-firsts are retrieved for a player to keep in their possession. Seager had yet to be presented with the keepsake, and wasn’t certain if he’d receive it.
“I probably should get that one,” Seager said. “It might be gone already. It would be nice to have.”