Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino moved into a tie with Alex Rodriguez for the most post-season HBP’s in the bottom of the first inning of NLCS Game 2. Tigers starter Max Scherzer drilled Victorino in the left shoulder with a 91 MPH fastball, his ninth career in the post-season. The errant pitch put a runner on first base with one out. Scherzer, however, was able to strike out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to end the inning.
Victorino was hit twice in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Rays, as well as once each in Game 1 and Game 3. He led the league with 18 HBP’s during the regular season, 15 of them occurring in his last 44 games of the regular season after he became a full-time right-handed hitter.
The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.
The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.
Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”