ARLINGTON, Texas — Call it a paranoid superstition, but baseball players rarely like to talk about prolonged hot streaks. Usually it’s a fear of upsetting the baseball gods, who have bequeathed such success to them.
For all his hitting ability, Kyle Seager is no different. He knows he rakes against the Texas Rangers. He has since his first season. But when asked about it, his face contorts as he tries to talk about it in a cliché, matter-of-fact way. It’s his way of not jinxing it.
“I don’t think he’s going to want to talk about it,” manager Lloyd McClendon said with a chuckle before Thursday’s opener of the four-game series against the Rangers.
It’s not that Seager doesn’t want to talk about it. It’s that he feels like he’s asked about it every time Seattle plays the Rangers. Usually, he doesn’t offer much of an in-depth explanation other than: “I guess I just feel comfortable here.”
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Coming into Thursday’s game, Seager was hitting .331 (80 for 242) with 23 doubles, 12 homers, 39 RBI and .997 OPS in 62 games against Texas.
“Guys just match up with certain teams sometimes, and this is one of his teams,” McClendon said.
Much of Seager’s damage has come at Globe Life Park, where he came into the series hitting .355 (44 for 124) with 14 doubles, six homers, 19 RBI and a 1.011 OPS
“I hit here the way Cano hits in every park,” Seager said.
Seager is hitting pretty well in every park this season, including unfriendly Safeco Field. He’s tied his career high with 22 home runs and is one RBI away from tying his career high of 86. He’s on pace to hit 25 homers and drive in more than 100 runs, something no Mariner has done since 2006 when both Raul Ibanez (33 HR, 123 RBI) and Richie Sexson (34 HR, 107 RBI) accomplished the feat.
Young to start Saturday
After carefully watching Chris Young’s bullpen session on Wednesday morning in Oakland and then meeting with Young on Thursday, McClendon decided to keep him as the scheduled starter for Saturday night’s game.
“The ball came out good and he’s healthy,” McClendon said. “We had a good conversation today.”
Did he need to hear anything from Young, or was the bullpen enough?
“I think it was a combination of what I saw and what we talked about,” McClendon said.
Young is 12-7 with a 3.46 ERA. But in his last start, he failed to get out of the first inning, giving up five runs on four hits with two walks. That poor outing came after McClendon gave Young nine days off after lasting 32/3 innings.