Houston Astros: Carlos Correa’s heroics will make for a tough decision

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa essentially saved the team’s season with his walk-off HR. This will bode for a tough offseason decision. Why?

The Houston Astros have climbed their way back into the ALCS with by tying things up in a 4.5-hour marathon-like exhibition of some MLB’s greatest talent to ever take the field in this current era.

As opposed to Game 1, the succeeding game had everything a fan had hoped for and even more as the amount of emotion, grittiness, sweat, strain, frustration, blood and possibly even tears that went into the competitive fight to win the second game of the ALCS.

The pitching was dominant on both ends of the spectrum between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees with Justin Verlander tossing seven strikeouts, two earned runs — including one homer to Aaron Judge — and just walking two guys through 6.2 innings pitched.

It was a typical day at the office for Verlander, maybe not the dominating-style of pitching that he displayed in recent starts but extremely impressive against this talented Yankees’ lineup.  He truly came through in the clutch and I’m extremely grateful for having him in the fold.

The bullpen came through strong — with Will Harris, Roberto Osuna, Joe Smith, Ryan Pressly and Josh James each combining for five strikeouts, two walks and one hit.  This was truly amazing to watch and this unit absolutely shined when they were needed the most.  It’s as if it were poetic justice — finally being able to rise above their struggles to stay healthy and focused during the season, all coming to fruition in last night’s smackdown.

But let’s get to the point of my article.

Carlos Correa had perhaps his best performance in the postseason since Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees.  He finished last night going 2-for-5  with two RBIs and a solo homer that we’ll never forget for the rest of our lives.

Correa was extra-special last night — with him engineering one of the greatest throw-outs that I’ve ever seen at the top of the 6th inning.  Brett Gardner singled off Verlander but somehow the ball deflected off Jose Altuve into Correa’s hands to throw a frozen rope to home plate.  This outstanding moment of greatness put DJ LeMahieu out at home, preventing the Yankees from taking lead in the ballgame.

You also have to give plenty of credit to Robinson Chirinos, who was ready to time the catch with tagging LeMahieu out at home and it was executed beautifully all in a matter of seconds between him and Correa.

But it was the shot heard around the world that we’ll all remember at the bottom of the 11th — Correa was the first batter up and J.A. Happ was the pitcher.  I recall the moment being so quick — the FS1 telecast had barely come back from commercial — and the first pitch to Correa pulled incredibly out to right field, sealing the deal for the Houston Astros with a 3-2 win.

Happ, a former Houston Astros‘ player himself, threw a 94 mph fastball and Correa was able to easily pick that ball up and ascend this team back into this series.

Yes, I know it’s one game but you don’t want to be down 2-0 in a series that will transition to the opposing team’s home field, especially if they have the momentum and that venue happens to be Yankee Stadium.

Not now though.

Correa’s heroics have flipped the script for this series and they have every much of a chance to be the team standing among the rubble when the dust settles.

While all of this is going on, it makes my mind wander as to what the team’s future plans will be for Correa?  I know I should be enjoying the moment for now but I can’t help thinking about it as I want this team to be a dynasty, not just a flash in the pan team with a great deal of success in a short amount of time.

I’m sure it’s more important to be concerned as to how far to move up Correa in the ALCS batting order right now but the aforementioned notion looking into the future resonates with me.

Correa has two years left of arbitration and we already know that he prefers not to have the Houston Astros to buy out his final two seasons.

I’d love Carlos Correa to be a member of the Houston Astros forever but I just feel that we’re not going to see him here much longer. Could he even be wearing Yankees’ pinstripes later in his career?  That’s not an idea that’s far-fetched.

From a business standpoint, despite him only appearing in 75 games this season, a baseball entity

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has to consider being able to trade him with his value being quite high and that he has years of control left on his contract.

It’s not something that you likely want to hear as I’m writing this but it’s definitely something you need to hear as I’m positive this is on the mind of general manager Jeff Luhnow and the rest of the Houston Astros‘ brass at the moment, even as Carlos continues to dazzle us all.

Correa is a consummate professional ballplayer and he appears to be an even greater person as he visited a student-athlete battling cancer at M.D. Anderson earlier today and dedicated last night’s walk-off homer to that patient.  He’s also extremely active in the H-Town community and there’s no question his efforts are tireless, whether here in Houston or back in Puerto Rico, where Correa is a native of.

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But are we in the moments of seeing the last of Correa as we know it?  I certainly hope that’s not the case but I’m definitely going to enjoy every minute of the postseason with him on this ballclub, however long that may be.

Let’s get it done — go Houston Astros!