By Ryan Divish The News Tribune
ST. LOUIS — Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager doesn’t seem tired. Before Friday’s game, he was in the outfield at Busch Stadium doing footwork and explosion drills with strength coach James Clifford to improve his quickness and speed.
Before Saturday’s game, he worked out, hit in the cage, studied film and then took batting practice.
It’s not the typical behavior of a player who has started in 100 straight games. Or is it?
On Saturday, Seager started his 101st straight game this season. It was just the seventh time in team history a player has started 100 consecutive games in a single season at the same position.
For Seager, it’s not an accomplishment he set out to achieve. His ambition was to just be healthy enough and a consistent enough of a producer for manager Eric Wedge to start him every day.
“I think that’s definitely the goal,” Seager said. “You want to be a guy they have confidence in to put in there every day.”
And Wedge has that confidence.
“He’s obviously been a very consistent contributor for us,” Wedge said. “He wants to play every day, which deserves respect in and of itself. But the reason he can play every day is because of how he goes about his business and the consistency of his play.”
But it’s more than just putting on the uniform and rolling out there seven days a week. You can do that, but you won’t have success or stay healthy. Seager’s preparation to do this began in the offseason with rigorous workouts. And once the season began, he continued to work out every day, while monitoring his nutrition and sleep schedule. Baseball might not seem like a grueling, physically demanding sport, but starting 146 of the 148 games the Mariners have played thus far will take its toll. Seager found a routine that kept him strong and feeling somewhat fresh.
“I think it’s definitely something I’ve learned from the strength coaches and the veteran guys,” he said of routine. “The big thing is trying to work out every day.”
That doesn’t mean Seager feels like he did at the beginning of the season. His body gets tired and sore. Some days feel better than others.
“That’s everybody, even if you aren’t playing every day, if you are playing six times, you body isn’t always going to feel great,” he said. ” You have to play with 100 percent of what you got that day.”
Can he play with 100 percent of what he has for 2,632 straight games like Cal Ripken Jr.?
“He’s about 20 times ahead of what I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t think that’s in the cards.”
Wedge said Felix Hernandez felt good the day after throwing a flatground session. He will throw a bullpen session on Monday in Detroit. If all goes well, Hernandez could start on Wednesday night vs. Justin Verlander. If not, Hisashi Iwakuma would make the start a day early, but still on five days rest. … It was 23 years ago on Saturday that Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off of Angles pitcher Kirk McCaskill. It was the first time in MLB history a father-son combo homered in back-to-back at-bats. … Coming into Saturday, the Mariners lead the American League with 12 walkoff losses. The Marlins lead all of baseball with 13. … The Mariners’ extra-inning loss on Friday night was a franchise record 13th in one season. The 19 extra-inning games the Mariners have played in this season is tied for the second most in club history. In 1982, Seattle played in 21 extra-inning games.