Seager youngest Dodger to hit HR in playoffs

Seager youngest Dodger to hit HR in playoffs

WASHINGTON -- Corey Seager wasted no time getting to an encore for his remarkable regular season.

The Dodgers' 22-year-old shortstop and NL Rookie of the Year favorite mashed the first pitch he saw from Nationals ace Max Scherzer to straightaway center field for his first career playoff homer.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 7 LAD 4, WAS 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 9 WSH 5, LAD 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 WAS 8, LAD 3 video
Gm 4 Oct. 11 LAD 6, WAS 5 video
Gm 5 Oct. 13 LAD 4, WSH 3 video

The solo blast, which traveled a projected 430 feet and left his bat at 109 mph, gave the Dodgers an early lead en route to a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Game 2 is Saturday at 4 p.m. ET/1 PT on FS1.

"We were looking for any runs we could get off of him," Seager said. "That's an elite pitcher. He came ready to play, he threw well. We just scratched as many as we could."

Seager, who hit 26 homers and slugged .512 during the regular season, became the youngest player in Dodgers history to homer in a postseason game.

Entering Friday, only Mike Marshall, Mike Scioscia and Pete Reiser had gone deep for the Dodgers in the playoffs before their 23rd birthday.

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"He doesn't surprise me anymore," said Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. "That's him. It doesn't matter the situation. He's kind of shown that maturity doesn't really have an age. He handles it all pretty well."

According to Statcast™, Friday's blast was the third longest home run of Seager's career. His 109 mph exit velocity was tied for the seventh-highest he's recorded on a batted ball this season.

Manager Dave Roberts echoed Kershaw's sentiment almost word for word.

"With Corey, nothing surprises me," Roberts said. "Playing on playoff teams, on the road, to get that first run is huge. It gives guys in the dugout a chance to exhale a little bit. You know, when you get a lead, it's a lot easier to try to shorten the game."

The Dodgers were able to do exactly that, and -- thanks in no small part to Seager's blast -- they landed the first blow in what figures to be a fascinating NLDS.

AJ Cassavell is in his sixth season as a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.