Seager’s routine keeps him in game

Staff writerSeptember 14, 2013 

— Kyle Seager seems tireless.

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 video and then took batting practice.

It’s not the sort of behavior typical for a player who has started in 100 consecutive games participates in — or is it?

On Saturday, Seager started his 101st straight game this season. It was the seventh time in Mariners 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 be a consistent enough producer for Seattle 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.”

It’s more than just putting on the uniform and rolling out to the field 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. Once the season began, he continued to work out every day, while monitoring his nutrition and sleep schedule.

Baseball might not seem like a physically demanding sport, but starting 146 of 148 games the Mariners have played this season takes a toll. Seager found a routine that keeps him strong and feeling fresh.

“I think it’s definitely something I’ve learned from the strength coaches and the veteran guys,” Seager said of his routine. “The big thing is trying to work out every day.”

That doesn’t mean Seager feels better than he did at the beginning of the season. His body gets tired and sore and some days feel better than others.

“That’s everybody, even if you aren’t playing every day. If you are playing six times, your 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 consecutive games, the way Cal Ripken Jr. did?

“He’s about 20 times ahead of what I’m doing,” Seager said. “I don’t think that’s in the cards.”

SHORT HOPS

Wedge said pitcher Felix Hernandez felt good the day after a throwing session on flat ground. He will throw a bullpen session on Monday in Detroit. If all goes well, Hernandez could start on Wednesday against Justin Verlander. If not, Hisashi Iwakuma would make the start a day early, but still on five days rest. … It was 23 years ago Saturday that Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning off California Angels pitcher Kirk McCaskill. It was the first time in major-league history a father-son combo homered in back-to-back at-bats. The Angels won, 7-5. … Going into Saturday, the Mariners led the American League with 12 walk-off losses. The Marlins lead all of baseball with 13. … The Mariners’ extra inning loss on Friday night was their 13th this season — a franchise record. The 19 extra-inning games the Mariners have played this season is tied for second most in club history. Seattle played in 21 in 1982.

ON TAP

The Mariners close out the three game series with an 11:15 a.m. game Sunday at Busch Stadium. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 4.57 ERA) is likely to start against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller (13-9, 3.05). The game will be broadcast on Root Sports, 1030-AM and 710-AM.

ryan.divish@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners
@RyanDivish

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