All-Star moment almost came for Seager, and Jansen made the most of his
By Cary Osborne
Corey Seager almost had an opportunity to show the baseball world what he has shown Los Angeles, and thus help give the National League home-field advantage in the World Series.
His heart wasn’t beating quickly, he said. He was poised and collected, his mind focused on his game plan against New York Yankees relief pitcher Andrew Miller.
But with the bases loaded and the National League down 4-2 in the top of the eighth inning in the 87th All-Star Game, NL manager Terry Collins called the left-handed Seager back instead of having the Dodger rookie face left-hander Miller.
Right-handed pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz then struck out against right-handed countermove Will Harris, ending the NL’s last best threat.
“You always do whether its an All-Star Game, regular season game or the playoffs, you want to be that guy in that spot to drive in the winning run,” Seager said.
That opportunity now will have to come in the two latter options, and if it comes in the World Series, it will be without the Dodgers having home-field advantage.
Seager and Kenley Jansen both played in Tuesday’s 4-2 National League loss to the American League at Petco Park. Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer hit a solo homer in the second inning and his teammate Salvador Perez followed two batters later with a two-run homer to supply the AL all the offense it would need. Hosmer and Perez became the first teammates to homer in the same inning of an All-Star Game since 1975 when Dodgers Steve Garvey and Jimmy Wynn each went deep in the first inning.
Jansen entered with the bases empty and two out in the bottom of the eighth inning. He struck out Baltimore’s Matt Wieters on three pitches — the last a 93 MPH cutter.
“There wasn’t a better place to be than today,” Jansen said.
Jansen just faced Wieters on July 6 at Dodger Stadium and struck him out swinging. He said he had a good idea on how to pitch him in the All-Star Game. It was extra satisfying to earn the K on the big stage.
“On three pitches, that’s unbelievable,” Jansen said. “I had a blast all game. It’s a great memory for me.”
Seager entered the game in the fourth inning as a defensive replacement for National League starter Addison Russell. Seager had to wait until the seventh inning for his first plate appearance. He led off in the seventh inning and got behind 0-2 quickly against New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. On a 2-2 count, Betances struck him out swinging on a 101 MPH fastball.
“It’s always hard to a face guy for the first time, especially in an All-Star Game,” Seager said. “It’s one of those things where you do the best you can.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo grounded to Seager. He bobbled, recovered and threw, but was late and charged with an error.
Trumbo later stood on third base with the bases loaded and two out with Clevaland’s Francisco Lindor up. Lindor grounded hard toward second base and Washington’s Daniel Murphy ranged to his right, stabbed it and made an off-balance throw to get the third out of the inning.
Seager isn’t alone among Dodger rookies to make an error in an All-Star Game. Second baseman Steve Sax made an error in the 1982 All-Star Game in Montreal.