Bottom Of The 11th Heroics and It’s Off to The Bronx
George Springer and Carlos Correa fueled what Astros offense there was Sunday night in Minute Maid Park but it was Correa's bottom of the 11th swing that propelled the Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Yankees, sending the best of seven series to New York Tuesday night tied at one game each.
Tuesday night the Astros send Gerrit Cole, hero of Friday nights elimination game with Tampa Bay, to the mound. Cole hasn't lost a game in nearly five months.
For the metrics lovers, in postseason series going into game three in the 2-3-2 series format split, when a team has split the first two games at home they've gone on to win the series fifty-five percent of the time. That is if you're the third game winner, both metrically and common baseball-sense-wise the Astros need to win two in the Bronx preferably games three and five.
For most of the game the general gut-feeling was: the next time the Astros call for a moment of silent meditation it should be for the bats. The Houston hitters have been stymied, caught watching fat strikes go by, swinging little league style at eye high pitches. George Springer's solo fifth inning shot kept Houston in the game tying it at two, where the score remained until the bottom of the eleventh.
Big Show Big Time Justin Verlander pitched almost into the seventh inning (6 2/3) delivering his usual calm big stage performance in the frenzied atmosphere of the standing room only packed hometown field. The lengthy workout for JV helped hide some of the bullpen's leakier elements and sends the Yank's home tossing and turning on their chartered jet at the prospect of facing the twenty-nine-year-old Cole Tuesday night.
In addition to tying the series the scrappy late inning at home win gives the Astros a renewed energy as they prepare to leave for the Big Apple. A little 'you didn't knock me down' attitude such as when Rocky Balboa bleeding and swollen but not beaten reminded Apollo Creed he hadn't been able to knock Rocky out. And no matter how many games more the Astros win in a season, or how many All-Stars win roster spots in July, the Astros are always gonna be railyard Rocky to the media darling New York Yankees flashy Apollo Creed. Even non-baseball fans want to see the Astros conquer Goliath.
Game three is Tuesday afternoon at 3:08 pm Lake Charles time on FS1. The complete MLB playoff schedule, times and networks are here.
In the National League Game 3 between the Nationals and the Cardinals is Monday night at 6:38 pm Lake Charles time on TBS.