Even in the Dodgers’ 6-4 loss in Game 2 of the World Series at Globe Life Field on Wednesday, Corey Seager continued his strong postseason campaign, knocking a 425-foot homer off Pete Fairbanks in the eighth inning. Seager, who entered 2020 with a .203 batting average in 31 career postseason games, with three homers and 10 RBIs, now has seven home runs and 16 RBIs this postseason.
• World Series Game 3: Friday, 8 p.m. ET on FOX
Seager’s seven homers have him tied with a handful of others — including the Rays’ Randy Arozarena — for fourth most in a single postseason. The only players with more are Nelson Cruz (2011), Carlos Beltrán (2004) and Barry Bonds (2002), with eight each.
Seager’s seven home runs are also the most by a shortstop in a single postseason, breaking a tie with Carlos Correa this year and Rich Aurilia in 2002. And he’s working his way up the Dodgers’ postseason-homer leaderboard, too. He now has 10, tied with Steve Garvey and current teammate Justin Turner for second most behind only Duke Snider, who had 11.
All seven of Seager’s postseason home runs this year have come at Globe Life Field, giving him the most homers there in the short history of the park (including postseason). He’s done it in 12 games, while the Rangers’ home-run leader in the regular season, Rougned Odor, hit six homers in 21 games there.
Here are more facts about the Rays’ World Series Game 2 win:
Arozarena keeps making history
American League Championship Series MVP Arozarena has been the Rays’ star player this postseason, but even though he entered his final plate appearance on Wednesday with three World Series walks, he had yet to notch his first hit. That changed in the ninth inning, when he pulled a grounder down the third-base line and used his wheels (sprint speed of 29.9 feet per second, compared with the MLB average of 27.0) to beat out an infield single.
• Arozarena joins Jeter in postseason history books
The hit was Arozarena’s 22nd since the playoffs began, tying Derek Jeter’s rookie record for a single postseason, set in 1996. With at least three games remaining in this Fall Classic, Arozarena has a great shot at passing the Hall of Famer.
Oct 21, 2020
Arozarena’s single also pushed his total base count this postseason to 48. Only one player has exceeded that in a single postseason, and that’s David Freese, whose red-hot October in 2011 (50 total bases) helped lead the Cardinals to a championship. Arozarena’s hit in Game 2 broke a tie with Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), Beltrán (2004) and Troy Glaus (2002) for second place on that list.
Lowe joins the party
Brandon Lowe led the Rays during the regular season in homers (14), RBIs (37), slugging (.554) and OPS (.916), but he entered Wednesday in a 6-for-56 slump this postseason, slugging .161.
Well, Lowe is slumping no more. He went deep twice on Wednesday to become the first player in Rays history to have a multihomer game in the World Series (albeit out of seven total games). This was also just the seventh multihomer World Series game produced by a second baseman, and the first since the Phillies’ Chase Utley accomplished the feat in both Game 1 and Game 5 in 2009, against the Yankees.
Making Lowe’s effort all the more impressive was that both homers went to the opposite field. Of the 15 big flies he hit in 2020 prior to Wednesday, none had been oppo shots. Going back to at least 2008, the only other player with multiple opposite-field homers in a postseason game was Lowe’s teammate, Yandy Díaz, in last year’s AL Wild Card Game.
Rays’ offense comes alive
With two homers in the game, the Rays now have 28 this postseason. That’s the most by a team in a single postseason, surpassing the 2017 Astros and 2002 Giants, both of whom hit 27. It’s worth noting that there was an additional multigame round this year, but the Rays have played fewer games than either of those teams did to this point.
Entering Game 2, the Rays had recorded eight hits or fewer in 10 straight postseason games, and struck out at least nine times in 10 consecutive games, too. Each of those streaks was the longest such stretch in a single postseason. In Game 2, the Rays had 10 base hits and struck out seven times — snapping both streaks at once.
Snell starts strong
Rays left-hander Blake Snell got off to an incredible start, keeping the Dodgers’ bats at bay. He joined a rather famous southpaw (Sandy Koufax, Game 1 in 1963) as the only pitchers in World Series history to record eight strikeouts through four no-hit innings to begin a game, according to STATS.
• Snell (9 K’s) attacks zone: ‘He was awesome’
When Snell walked Enrique Hernández and then gave up a two-run homer to Chris Taylor in the fifth, he was just one out shy of taking a no-hit bid through five innings for the second time this postseason. In Game 1 of the Wild Card Series against the Blue Jays, he completed five frames before giving up his first hit to lead off the sixth.
Other notes of interest
• There was a strange sight in the top of the ninth inning, after Arozarena singled Díaz to second with two outs. Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in Brett Phillips and Hunter Renfroe as pinch-runners for those two players, respectively. Two pinch-runners, inserted into a game, at the same time?
According to Baseball-Reference founder Sean Forman, it was the first time in World Series history that a manager pulled such a maneuver. The only other instance in any postseason game, per Forman, came in Game 2 of the 1996 AL Division Series, when the Orioles pinch-ran Manny Alexander (for Eddie Murray) and Pete Incaviglia (for B.J. Surhoff) at the same time in the eighth inning.
• Diego Castillo entered the game with two outs in the ninth to face Taylor, with nobody on and a two-run lead for the Rays. Castillo struck out Taylor to seal the win, and with that, got a one-out save. It was the 10th time since saves became official in 1969 that a pitcher recorded a one-out save in a World Series game. The previous one was pretty impactful: the Cubs’ Mike Montgomery’s in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. The last such save in a nine-inning World Series game was by Rawly Eastwick for the Reds against the Red Sox in Game 5 in 1975.
• As for the Dodgers, they tried to bullpen their way to victory in Game 2. Starter Tony Gonsolin got only four outs, the beginning of a reliever parade. In all, manager Dave Roberts used seven pitchers, with Alex Wood (two innings) going the longest.
In World Series history, only two previous games featured a team using as many as seven pitchers who went a maximum of two innings. The Reds had eight such pitchers in Game 5 of the 1961 Series against the Yankees, and the Cardinals deployed seven in 1967 (Game 6) against the Red Sox, although those seven were pitching behind starter Dick Hughes (3 2/3 innings). Both of those teams also lost.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.