The postseason can sometimes be the coming-out party for a player who had a pretty good regular season but then turns it up a notch in the playoffs.
Sometimes it is a player who wasn’t even with the postseason team when the season began.
Take the amazing run of right fielder Cody Ross, who arrived in San Francisco on August 10, 2010 and played just 33 games with the Giants, hitting .288 with three home runs.
Then, he turned in one of the most amazing postseason performances in quite some time by a relatively unknown player. Ross hit a home run to tie the game in the deciding fourth game of the division series against the Braves and drove in the winning runs in two of three Giants’ games.
In the National League Championship Series against Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, he hit three homers in the first two games. He hit .350 in the series and won the Most Valuable Player award. In Game 3 of the World Series, he hit another home run.
Contrast that run with the arrival of catcher Kurt Suzuki with the Nationals on August 3, 2012 in a similar waiver claim deal. Suzuki was batting .218 with the Oakland A’s with one home run this season before he landed in D.C.
He turned his offensive season around with the Nationals, became an iron man behind the plate for manager Davey Johnson and solidified a questionable defense with runners on base.
Suzuki hit .300 with three doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs in September for the Nationals. There was a point where he started 11 straight games up to October 2, 2012.
Suzuki will now be called upon to watch and monitor the very fast St. Louis Cardinals lineup, who stacked their roster with 15 position players for their win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Suzuki also had a huge two-run double against St. Louis in the Nationals’ last win in St. Louis last Saturday night.
Maybe Suzuki can continue this hot streak for the Nationals into the postseason. They will need it to knock off the defending champs.