(Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo)
Despite the very noticeable smile from Corey Seager after the Dodgers‘ 4-2 victory over the Braves on Friday night, the young shortstop seemed more concerned with the momentum of his team instead of any personal accolades with the lumber.
“Hopefully, we’re going to start rolling now,” Seager said after the game.
The 22-year-old rookie went yard a total of three times, with all three being of the solo variety. Two came against Braves’ righty Julio Teheran in the fourth and sixth innings, while the final blast was hit off left-handed reliever Hunter Cervenka in the eighth.
He became the first Dodgers rookie with three home runs in a game since Don Demeter on April 21, 1959.
Seager is now hitting .283/.338/.511 on the season, leading the Dodgers with 12 home runs, 31 RBI, 12 doubles and 36 runs scored.
In the clubhouse, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts had a few kind words to offer regarding his blossoming shortstop.
“I’m enjoying the development, the evolution, whatever you want to call it,” Roberts said of Seager. “It seems like every night he’s going to do something special.”
Outfielder and fellow rookie Trayce Thompson, who coincidentally happens to be Seager’s roommate, accounted for the Dodgers’ only other run of the game with a solo shot of his own. Thompson is now hitting .280/.341/.576 on the year, and is second to Seager for the team lead in home runs with nine.
Having already seen increased action in recent weeks, Thompson’s stronghold on a starting outfield spot seemingly becomes more firm with each passing game, especially considering yesterday’s placement of right fielder Yasiel Puig on the 15-day disabled list.
While Seager and Thompson continue to carry a heavy portion of the Dodgers’ load offensively, four other players in last night’s starting lineup — third baseman Justin Turner, center fielder Joc Pederson, catcher Yasmani Grandal and left fielder Carl Crawford — are all hitting .220 or less. Both Grandal and Crawford come in well below the Mendoza Line, logging averages of .183 and .185, respectively.
Even super utility man Enrique Hernandez, who hit .307/.346/.490 in over 200 bats for the Dodgers last season, is averaging a mere .213.
When adding Puig’s .237/.283/.360 slashline to the above mix of stats, it’s easy to see why the club has been unable to establish any kind of consistency with the bats.
While the Dodgers have been languishing as far as run production, Roberts is confident with his squad’s ability to compete.
“I think our offense will get untracked as far as some consistency,” Roberts said. “We’re pitching. We’re playing defense. We’re going to be just fine.”
Perhaps Seager and Thompson could give Pederson, who happens to be the third roommate of the youthful trio, a sip or two of their own secret potion to conceivably boost his own production with the bat, allowing the squad to collectively make up a bit of ground in the NL West.