MVP-caliber players, such as Corey Seager, are expected to shine on the big stage of the playoffs. Rookies on the other hand maybe not so much. Especially if the rookie just turned 21 years old on August 29th and made his MLB debut on September 8th. Well, both Seager and starting left fielder Evan Carter, guided the Texas Rangers to victory this afternoon by taking down one of the best pitchers in the game, Tyler Glasnow.
Corey Seager rock solid once again
Seager did his normal deal, by going 2 for 4, with a double, a walk, drove in a run, and scored a run. Nothing out of character for the best player on the team and one of the best in the game. If it wasn't for Shohei Ohtani being in the American League, Seager would be the front-runner for the AL MVP award this season despite missing substantial time with injuries.
Evan Carter steals the show...and second base
But as great of a performance as Seager had at the plate, Carter's was superior. The youngster went 2 for 2, walked twice, scored a run, and stole a base. Both of his hits were doubles. The first one was a ripped shot into the gap in right-center that went to the wall. If it wasn't for third base coach Tony Beasley being a bit too conservative for my taste by not sending Jonah Heim, he would have more than likely had an RBI added to his stat line.
Carter's second double showed his baseball awareness as well as his pure speed. After ripping a hard grounder to the left of first baseman Yandy Diaz that he was unable to corral, Carter had no hesitation in his trip to second base. Most players would have coasted into first and been content with a single, but Carter turned on the afterburners and eased into second with a standup double.
On the defensive side of the ball, he did have an error as he misplayed a ball hit by Isaac Paredes that allowed him to reach second base with two outs. Fortunately, Jordan Montgomery was able to get Curtis Mead to ground out to Josh Jung on the next play. So that was the hiccup that he had in the game, but Carter also had one of the top defensive plays earlier in the game. In the first inning, with two outs, he made a SportsCenter highlight film diving catch, for the third out of the inning.
We all know who Seager is and what he is capable of night in and night out. And while Rangers fans have been hearing great things about Carter down on the farm, the importance of him stepping up and giving this team a shot in the arm can't be underestimated. The kid is different, and it showed today that no moment is too big for him. Usually, when a team's number nine hitter comes up the fans cringe, but with Carter everyone gets excited because they know he is such a tough out.
After a playoff debut as stellar as today's, it will be interesting to see how he follows it up tomorrow. My guess is that it will be a solid performance and there is no doubt that he will be giving it his all throughout the entire game. Evan Carter, like Corey Seager, is really good at baseball.
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