The Astros are two wins away from a trip to the World Series in large part to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. The two Astros’ stars watched as Justin Verlander worked around a one-out single in the ninth, but as the hurler was doing so, Correa had a message for his teammate.
“In the last inning when we were playing defense, I tell Altuve, we got to do this for the team, we got to come through right now in this inning,” he recalled. “He’s like, okay, let’s do it.”
After Verlander threw up a zero in the top of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman struck out Josh Reddick to begin the bottom of the inning, but Altuve took a 100 mile per hour fastball and laced it up the middle for a hit, and then with the count full, Correa came up with a big swing of his own.
“I was just trying to get on top of a fastball and he threw a good fastball to hit and I hit it in the gap.”
Correa hit a ball into right field that Aaron Judge was able to cut-off before it got to the wall, which seemed to squelch any chance that Altuve would even try to score, but Astros third base coach Gary Pettis waved him home, and as he stood at second, all Correa could do was watch.
“The whole time I think that was going to be a chance because (Judge) cut it off really good, but then when I saw (Altuve) running I was like, oh God, and then obviously he beat it out.”
Altuve got some help as Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez could not handle the one-hop throw from Didi Gregorius, sealing the Astros win.
“It’s the greatest feeling ever,” Correa said. “Winning is always fun, but winning in the playoffs and such an important spot is even bigger. So really glad he was able to score.”
Correa homered in the fourth and has been involved in all four Astros’ runs in the first two games of the series, and while the Astros are in the driver’s seat, he knows there is still a long way before the Astros can celebrate winning an American League pennant.
“We’re 2-0 now. We have a good lead. Obviously we’re not going to lay back and rest on that, we’re going to keep playing good baseball and hopefully finish it in New York.”