Houston Astros: World Series: Jose Altuve’s success against the Nationals

Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photosvia Getty Images)
Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photosvia Getty Images) /

Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve had perhaps the greatest moment of his career in the ALCS. But how does he size up against Nationals? Let’s look.

Houston Astros fans — I can’t even begin to process how special Saturday night’s 6-4 win in Game 6 of the ALCS over the New York Yankees was.  It truly epitomizes the competitive spirit of this team, going to show how talented they are from top to bottom.

It exudes their resilience, their willingness to never say die and their relentless desire to go out and be the best.  All of those variables have to mix seamlessly if one is to be a championship team and the Houston Astros have been able to do it masterfully.

I was within the friendly confines of Minute Maid Park, proudly in attendance for the nuances of Game 6 and to be honest, it was truly one of the greatest games that I’ve ever witnessed at the Juicebox.

Things seemed so uncertain at the top of the 9th, when DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run homer out to right field, tying the game at four-all of Roberto Osuna.  The Houston Astros, which had held a lead throughout the entire contest, had been punched in the mouth and the Yankees weren’t going quietly into the night without a fight.

You could obviously tell that Osuna was devastated but he kept his composure, being able to generate a strikeout off Aaron Judge and a flyout by Gleyber Torres.

But the uncertainty continued to loom as I was an innocent bystander to what just happened to the Houston Astros.

Was this game going to go extra innings?  Will there be a Game 7?

All of these thoughts crept into my mind as things moved to the top of the lineup at the bottom of the 9th.

After Aroldis Chapman had been called in to close for Zack Britton, George Springer was walked and the great Jose Altuve came up to bat.

First pitch … BALL.

Second pitch … BALL.

These were all four-steam fastballs topping almost 100 mph and Altuve did not take one bite out of them.

Third pitch … STRIKE off an 85 mph slider.

And the fourth and final pitch, another slider at 83 mph, was all Altuve needed to grab a hold of to catapult the Houston Astros into the World Series and cement his status as the greatest player in franchise history.

My apologies to Craig Biggio but this feat will rank for eons as one of the most profound moments in the timeline of this franchise.

He officially is this franchise’s most colossal son and I don’t think anybody is going to eclipse that for quite some time.

When I saw the series-clinching homer with my own eyes, there was a delay in my reaction as my brain was still processing something so significant that had just happened right in front of me.  I then belted out a boisterous roar as loud as I could and started high-fiving, jumping up and down and hugging Houston Astros‘ fans alike.

It was a moment I’ll never forget for the rest of my life and it won’t be forsaken.

The Houston Astros are going back to the World Series for the third time in franchise history — the second trip in three seasons — and we all have to thank that pint-sized mammoth of a baseball player, who battled his way through rejection and adversity since he was 16-years-old to prove how amazing of an athlete he is.

But how does Altuve size up against their World Series opponent, the Washington Nationals?

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The Houston Astros have not faced the Nats since the 2017 season, where they had a three-game set at Minute Maid Park from Aug. 22-24.

He wasn’t necessarily at his greatest during that series, which had him going 2-for-11 with one strikeout but we all know that he went on to win the AL MVP Award that season so the point, because the Nats are a truly different team now, is moot of future performance.  But I thought that you’d like to know how he performed.

Altuve has faced the Nats 18 times in his career and he currently has a .297/.350/.492 batting average against them along with 22 hits, six doubles, two triples but no home runs.

I think that tide turns this series, even against the likes of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg so I think you’d best get your popcorn ready!

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But nonetheless, this is going to be a terrific series that I do see the Houston Astros prevailing in about six games to officially take back the MLB crown.

We’ll see how it goes — good luck to Altuve as well as the rest of the Houston Astros!