HOUSTON – Jose Altuve will not stop torturing Yankees fans.
Drew Smiley’s seventh-stroke homer in the Astros’ 7-2 win over Atlanta in the GM2 World Championships Wednesday night was the 22nd round of his career on the postseason grounds, tying him with Bernie Williams for the second-all-time finish.
Manny Ramirez has the record with 29.
It came in the same post-season period that Altuve overtook Derek Jeter on the roster, with Jeter reaching the 20-man playoff mark of his career—a point Altuve earned after the game.
Altuve said he saw Williams play a lot growing up.
“Great hitter, obviously,” Altuve said.
“It means a lot to me,” he said of the achievement. “It makes me keep going there, hitting my teammates to help my team, to keep getting things like this done. As long as we win, everything is fine.”
Altuve entered Game 2 in a game of 2 versus 26 in his previous six games.
Asked how Altuve managed to weather the slump, Houston coach Dusty Baker said, “Well, it’s good. Well, it’s good. When you’re good, you just have to – I don’t know. That’s what the pros do. When you know you can play, You have to. I mean, you don’t have a choice. My dad used to tell me it’s okay to get off, just don’t stay. So he didn’t stay.”
It was Altoff’s fourth time in this post-season, but he went into Wednesday goalless in his previous two games (0 vs. 9).
“For me, the stats and the playoffs don’t matter because you win,” Altuve said. “You could be zero for 20, but what if I get the big hit? That’s what the playoffs are about. I don’t care I went 0 for 5 [Tuesday]. I bring [Wednesday]Try to get good pitches to pay, and I’m happy to help my team win.”
The Braves replaced Charlie Morton on their roster with left-footed bowler Tucker Davidson on Wednesday after Morton was disqualified for the rest of the world championship with a fibula fracture.
Morton took a linear lead from Yuli Goriel from the bottom of his right leg for the bottom of a second in Tuesday’s first game. The right-hander stayed in the match and got the last two games of that game and then hit Altuve to open the bottom of the third inning.
On the last pitch, Morton stumbled down the hill and left the game and an X-ray showed the fracture.
Davidson, 25, started four games for the Braves earlier in the season, but missed most of the season with a left forearm infection. He did four minor league rehabs to close out the regular season.
Ian Anderson is set to start playing for Atlanta in Game Three on Friday, against Houston’s rookie Luis Garcia at Troist Park, where the Braves have won 10 of their last 11 games, including the last five.
Atlanta manager Brian Sneaker praised his team’s defense ahead of Game Two.
“These guys were incredible,” Snicker said. “These guys have been very consistent. They have been really, really good all year long, in my opinion.”
On Wednesday, though, Ozzie Albies fouled and there was mixing on the field on a relay that resulted in a foul on left-back Eddie Rosario. Both errors led to the run.
“It’s happening,” Snicker said. “Over the 162 games we’ve just played and how good our players are on defense, it didn’t bother me one bit.”
The Astros arrived for the post-season without the usual production of Alex Bergman. And they reached the World Championships with the third man still falling behind.
He survived a pair of hits in Houston’s loss in the first game, but the sacrifice fly in the first inning on Wednesday.
Becker said he believes Bregman is still regaining his timing after so long on the injured list due to quadruple strain.
“He missed, 60 games?” Becker said before the second game. You play catch-up all the time, all year long. this is very difficult. When will you catch up? “
Not yet, obviously.
Bergmann was fine in 32 regular season games after returning from injury, with 0.760 OPS during that time.
But in the 11 playoffs before Wednesday, Bergman was 11 to 43 with 10 hits and an OPS of 0.682.
“I mean, he took the time,” Becker said. “He put in the work. The law of the mean is on his side too, big time. Bergman can hit, he thinks he can hit, and he’ll hit. So it’s just about being confident. That’s number one.”