Arlington, Texas — Marcus Semien’s postseason struggles at the plate continued in Game One after going 1-for-6 with a single in the 9th inning of his World Series debut, dropping his playoff batting average to a team low .190.
Going back to early October when the Rangers were fighting for a playoff spot entering the last weekend of regular season baseball, we have been waiting for a vintage performance from the 2021 MLBbro.com Player of The Year and 2023 All-Star Starter at second base for the American League.
Playing in all but one game in the last three years, a long travel schedule to begin the playoffs coinciding with the birth of his fourth child and first daughter led me to think fatigue was an issue causing his bat to slow up down the stretch.
However, we are now over three weeks into the postseason and after getting a few days off between the Championship Series and Fall Classic he is still searching for ways to have an impact offensively.
“I need to control the strike zone, that is step one,” Semien told MLBbro.com when discussing his game plan for attacking the National League Champion Diamondbacks.
“I want to hit the ball hard, that is all I can control. Obviously I want to do better and get on base for all of the hot hitters behind me.”
It would take a walk-off homer by the red-hot Adolis Garcia in the 11th inning to ultimately defeat Arizona and drop the magic number for the Rangers first World Series in franchise history down to three. Garcia has carried the Rangers with eight homers this postseason.
But it also leaves a little bit of a sour taste knowing that if Semien would look anything like he did throughout most of the regular season, this series would probably end up being a laugher.
Move Marcus Semien Down In The Order ?
He has batted in the leadoff spot every game for the past two years and even broke the Rangers franchise record for the most leadoff home runs in a season this year with 10, but with him not getting on base at a high clip you have to wonder if sliding down to the two spot and getting a runner on ahead of him would help spark his bat.
For now though, manager Bruce Bochy — who shows the utmost trust in all of his players — appears to be letting his lead horse find his way to water despite going through some hard times. The Rangers have not suffered in the win column at all.
Semien’s defense has been impeccable, he’s still one of the most intelligent players in the game and his consistent, positive attitude still resonates in the locker room.
Game Two is Saturday night at 7PM.