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HomeSportsYordan Alvarez hits 3-run walk-off HR as Astros win Game 1

Yordan Alvarez hits 3-run walk-off HR as Astros win Game 1

Houston -A walk-off homer Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez hit to complete an amazing come-from-behind victory the first game in the American League Division Series on Tuesday brought back amazing blasts from the past of October.

The bat was left with all the force and power of a home run in the postseason in Minute Maid Park: Albert Pujols”laser” from Brad Lidge in 2005. The shot was his first game-ending hit from a team in the lead at the time, since Joe Carter’s homer which won Toronto in the 1993 World Series. Even though it will not be recorded in the history books due to it was the Astros won 8-7 against their opponents the Seattle Mariners arrived so early in the postseason, the 41.125 in attendance as well as those in the clubhouses of both teams who were elated on one hand, and in awe on the other were unable to help but admire the accomplishment of Alvarez.

The Mariners were playing in the postseason for the first time in more than two decades, lost an opportunity similar to one they fought back during their wild card-clinching victory Saturday over Toronto. After squeezing away the 7-3 deficit, thanks to the two-run home run hit of Alex Bregman in the eighth innings, Houston rode Alvarez’s home hit to win its ninth consecutive win to open the playoffs which tied the record of a major league team.

“If you’re a fan of Houston and that didn’t get you excited, get you animated, I don’t know what to say,” Alvarez stated. “I was also speaking to my wife about somebody that wasn’t having a great day, and that moment changed their day for them, and those are the small details. You can change somebody’s day with things like that.”

As enthralled and enthralled as the Astros and the crowd were Seattle’s day was clearly changed for the worse when Alvarez hit a sinker that sped up to 93 mph over the middle of the plate. When the closer Paul Sewald allowing two runners to get within reach, Mariners manager Scott Servais made a call to left-handed hitter Robbie Ray to face Alvarez who is also a left-handed. Ray is the current AL Cy Young winner who signed an $115 million free-agent contract with Seattle in the winter of 2017 normally plays as used as a starter, however Seattle was planning to put Ray in a role of a fireman during Game 1 .

Alvarez is no ordinary conflagration. The 25-year-old is among the top baseball hitters, and is in the no. third spot on Houston’s risky lineup. However, with no clear platoon division and Ray’s tendency to surrender the possibility of homers, Servais shrewd and was a loser. Alvarez fouled Ray’s first pitch, a 94 mph sinker, almost straight back. The second one sailed forward 438 feetand landed on the bleachers in the right field after bouncing off the bat of Alvarez’s at 117 miles per hour.

“I was just trying to get the sinker in on him,” Ray stated. “Just didn’t get there. … Just frustrating.”

Ray said that he never, Ray said, did Ray ever think about pitching to Alvarez and loading up the bases. The Mariners were put in a precarious spot because Sewald struck pinch hitter David Hensley with a full-count fastball, and then was unable to catch Jeremy Pena by leaving over the plate a slider of 1-2 that the rookie smashed into the center field. And then came Alvarez.

“He didn’t miss it,” Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said. “He’s just a great hitter. He’s not gonna miss twice.”

Altuve is familiar with the thrill of hitting a home run in the playoffs. He been crowned the 2019 pennant winner with his shot in left field in the Minute Maid in the ninth inning off New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. But even that was a tie-breaking game. A postseason walk-off hit that trailed by multiple runs after just two players out in the ninth innings? It has never happened before Tuesday.

The Astros returning in October is not a surprise. They’ve played in 5 consecutive AL Championship Series and this season saw them win an all-time high of almost matching their record for franchise. With a stacked pitching staff and a deep bullpen, a solid lineup , and a great fielding performance They’re among the top contenders to take home the championship.

Naturally, they did not anticipate starting their postseason against Justin Verlander — who is the most likely AL Cy Young winner this season — who allowed six runs and 10 hits over the course of four innings. Seattle was quick to take advantage of him, scoring one run in the opening followed by three in the second and another in the fourth. The final score was the homer of two runs from J.P. Crawford and the top two players, Julio Rodriguez and Ty France who went 5 for their first five and accelerating the Mariners offense.

Houston’s bullpen largely stifled Seattle by laying an avenue down which Astros players walked. Yuli Gurriel scored a homer in the fourth to reduce the deficit to 3-3. Bregman was on the job with the ninth. When Alvarez noticed Ray warming, he took an iPad and looked over the video footage of his previous five games against the 31-year-old, and tried to recreate what he had done during the regular season in which he batted .306/.406/.613 in the course of 136 games.

“The postseason is just an extension of the season, really,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He has a very slow pulse rate, I’m sure. He doesn’t show excitement too much. He has a high level of concentration, discipline and confidence. You know you’ve got a chance when Yordan comes to the plate, and when he doesn’t come through you’re almost surprised. I mean, you know nobody can do it all the time, but he’s pretty good at it.”

Good undersells Alvarez. He got the Astros on the scoreboard first with a two-run homer in the third and the Astros then scored their final score by sinking a ball that didn’t sink as the ball was meant toand also gave Seattle their first shot at taking the home-field advantage in its grasp. The Mariners will have another shot on Thursday, as Luis Castillo, their prized deadline acquisition, takes on Houston lefty Framber Valdez in Game 2.

“It’s like a heavyweight fight,” Servais declared. “You’re going to get punched. It’s how you respond in those moments and that’s a tough one. Today I thought we had it in hand. You got to give them credit. Certainly they have been in this spot many times before and you don’t quit.”



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