In the bottom of the 11th inning during Game 2 of Sunday night’s American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa took the first pitch he saw from J.A. Happ deep to right-field. The result was exactly what the Astros needed. The ball soared over the outfield wall for a home run, giving them a 3-2 walk off win against the New York Yankees, which tied the series at one game apiece.
Prior to the game-winner, Carlos’ postseason at the plate has been very underwhelming. After playing only three games in September, it’s been clear the former number one overall pick is still scrubbing off the rust from missing time this season with injuries.
Correa has played in only 75 games this season. After fracturing his ribs in May, Correa returned and again missed time after injuring his back in August. For the season, he hit .279 with 21 home runs, but has managed only a .136 average and one RBI entering Sunday’s game in this year’s playoffs.
According to ESPN, Carlos said, “Going into that last inning, I thought, ‘I got this’. I felt like I got this. And I had the right approach against [Happ]. I’ve been successful against him going the other way. And that’s what I tried to do. I saw a good pitch down the middle, and I drove the other way.”
The shortstop also managed to come up with the game’s biggest defensive play during the top of the sixth inning. With two-outs, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner hit a hard liner at Houston second-baseman Jose Altuve. The ball took a bad hop, and stymied Altuve. Yankees do-it-all utility player, DJ LeMahieu, attempted to score from second base on the play. However, Correa shut that down with his strong-arm after ranging over from shortstop, gobbling up the ball and throwing a strike to home plate, essentially gunning down the runner to prevent a score.
Correa was an essential part of Houston’s 2017 championship run, as well as the team’s (tanking) rebuild a few years back. Despite playing less than half his team’s games this season, the shortstop is managing to make an impact both at the plate and in the field. Hopefully, the game-winner will get him going so that Astros’ can throw their very-best effort at the Yanks, en-route to their goal of a second World Series title in three years.
Header Photo Credit: NBC Sports