For last week’s recap, click here.
Week’s Win-Loss Record: 3-3
Overall Win-Loss Record: 10-14
Winning Percentage: .417
Division Standing: Fourth place, 5.0 games back
Week’s Opponents: Houston Astros (3 games) – Home; Texas Rangers (3 games) – Home
Playoff Status: Not mathematically eliminated
Team Morale: Bipolar
Pound Town. A quirky little hamlet with a mercurial population, Pound Town is a place people often go to have a great time. To many, Pound Town is simply the world’s greatest vacation spot for coitus. “Take your lady to Pound Town!” they’ll say. And they’re right, Pound Town does reside at the intersection of foreplay and intercourse.
But is Pound Town just limited to lovemaking? Certainly not. Clear out the paint for a back-to-the-basket power forward ready to abuse a weaker defender and that behemoth is going to Pound Town. Hand the ball off to a bruising running back who inflicts pain upon would-be tacklers and stamp your passport once more for Pound Town. Witness a third baseman belt five home runs in four days, including a pair of game-winning blasts, and you’ve not only arrived in Pound Town, you’ve rented the burg’s finest villa. And that, my friends, is where Kyle Seager spent his weekend.
It was a week that began inauspiciously, with the Mariners dropping their first two games to the lowly Houston Astros. The pox that seemingly plagues the M’s, the Astros have earned 18-percent of their overall victories since moving to the American League at the hands of Seattle. That the untimely defeats extended a week-long losing streak to eight games only made the situation more dire. Thus, the stage was set for acts of improbable heroism. Enter Seager.
It began quietly. Nursing a 3-0 deficit in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s series finale against Houston, Seager stepped to the plate against Astros starting pitcher Jarred Cosart with a lone runner on base and one out. Cosart had breezed through six-and-a-third scoreless frames so far, but his pitch count was rising. In spite of that, the atmosphere in the stadium was on life support, moribund to the utmost degree. Based on the recent string of nightly failures, the ballclub’s inherent ability to squander golden opportunities in particularly remarkable fashion, and Seager’s 10-for-65 slump to began the 2014 campaign, a flash poll of the handful of fans in attendance likely would have yielded “double play” as the most likely outcome to emerge from the upcoming at-bat.
But then Cosart succumbed to fatigue. And in an instant, Seager capitalized.
The pitch hung over the inner half of the plate and the 26-year-old third baseman swung and connected. The ball traveled 367 feet into the right field seats, awakening the crowd from its near-comatose state and cutting the Houston lead to one. This was only the beginning.
Two innings later, with the game an out away from becoming Seattle’s ninth consecutive defeat, Seager strolled up to the dish anew. The score remained just as he’d left it in his last plate appearance, 3-2 in favor of Houston. There were two runners aboard. Seager could have prolonged the contest with a base hit. He opted instead to end it.
He didn’t connect for a single, a double, or a triple. Nor did he relent and become the game’s final out. He received a fastball on the inner half of the plate yet again, not unlike that of his previous at-bat, and drilled it once more, this time extending his distance by an additional three feet, landing the walk-off home run 370 feet from the batter’s box in Safeco Field’s right field seats for a second time.
The losing streak was over. Seager’s slump was toast. And just to reiterate his point, he connected for two more hits on Friday. Then another couple on Saturday, including his third home run of the year. Not to be outdone on Sunday, Seager reprised his role as superhero with another two-homer day, the final bomb going down as the game-winner. On Monday, the American League named him Co-Player of the Week.
It began as a bad week for the Mariners, but then Kyle Seager found his stroke and took his talents to Pound Town. The timing could not have been better.