Masters of the Walk-Off Home Run
It is perhaps one of the most exciting moments in sports – the walk-off home run. Even more electrifying is the walk-off homer that catapults a team from the edge of defeat to a thrilling comeback victory. No team in Major League Baseball this season has mastered the walk-off home run like the 2016 Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners lead the Majors in walk-off home runs this season with 5. No other team has more than 3 walk-off homers so far this season. Of the Mariners 5 walk-off homers, three have come when the team was trailing, which leads the Major Leagues.
“It’s really easy to give up, say, ‘This isn’t our night and move on’. We don’t do that,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “This club doesn’t do that…that’s why you play all 27 outs, you keep believing and you keep hoping if you can get the tying run to the plate and then the winning run to the plate, maybe you can get some magic. We’ve had that a few times.”
Seattle’s 5 walk-off homers this season are tied with the 2006 club for 2nd-most in club history, trailing only the Mariners 6 walk-off home runs in 1986. Four different Mariners have hit a walk-off home run this season, tying the club record for most players with a game-ending homer in a single season (also: 1986 & 2004).
The Mariners have hit 73 walk-off home runs in club history by 51 different players. Only 13 different players have hit 2 walk-off home runs in a single season for the Mariners, the latest being Adam Lind.
After a two-out, RBI-single from Kyle Seager, Lind was called off the bench to face White Sox closer David Robertson with the Mariners trailing Chicago, 3-1, last night. Lind belted an 0-1 fastball out to right-center field, vaulting Seattle to a 4-3 win.
“Moments like that are the best part of the season,” Lind said.
Lind is one of two players in Major League history to hit two walk-off home runs in a single season with his team trailing by two runs (Elias Sports Bureau). Lind joins David Ortiz, who turned the trick for Boston in 2006.
Take a look back at the Mariners walk-off home runs so far this season:
April 13 vs. Texas
Lee began the walk-off home run party on April 13 against the Texas Rangers. With the Mariners and Rangers tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th, Lee belted a two-run home run into Texas’ left field bullpen, sending the Mariners to a 4-2 victory.
It was the first pinch-hit walk-off home run by a rookie in Mariners club history.
At age 33, Lee was the oldest rookie to hit a walk-off home run since Luke Easter hit one for the 1950 Indians at age 35.
May 11 vs. Tampa Bay
On May 11, Chris Iannetta broke a 5-5 tie between the Mariners and Rays with a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th. It was Iannetta’s 5th career walk-off home run and his 7th career walk-off hit overall.
May 24 vs. Oakland
Leonys Martin came through in the clutch with the Mariners trailing Oakland, 5-4, in the bottom of the 9th on May 24. Martin belted a 2-out, 2-run homer for a 6-5 Mariners win, marking his 2nd career walk-off home run. At the time, it was the Mariners first behind-to-ahead walk-off homer with two outs since Ichiro’s 2-out, 2-run home run in the Mariners 3-2 win vs. the Yankees on Sept. 18, 2009.
June 24 vs. St. Louis
With the Mariners down, 3-1, to St. Louis on June 24, Seager lead off with a double followed by a walk to Lee. Then, Lind stepped in and crushed a 3-run walk-off homer for a 4-3 Mariners win.
July 18 vs. Chicago-AL
Lind joins Dae-Ho Lee to give the Mariners two pinch-hit walk-off home runs this season. Prior to this year, the Mariners had recorded just two pinch-hit walk-off home runs in club history (also: Kendrys Morales, 6/23/2013 vs. OAK & Ken Phelps, 9/3/1986 vs. DET). In Major League history, only five clubs have hit 3 pinch-hit walk-off homers in the same season (Detroit, 1968; San Diego, 1986; Baltimore, 1987; Oakland, 1970 & Oakland, 2002).
Lind is the 3rd player in club history to hit a walk-off home run with two outs when trailing by two or more runs. The others are Phil Bradley, who hit a two-out grand slam home run on April 13, 1985 vs. Minnesota and Jim Presley, who belted a three-run homer with two down on May 9, 1981 vs. the Yankees. Both Bradley and Presley homered off of right-hander Ron Davis.
With his pinch-hit heroics last night, Lind becomes the 12th player in Major League history to hit a two-out, pinch-hit, walk-off home run with his team trailing by at least two runs (last: Scott Spiezio, 7/31/00 vs. DET w/LAA).