SAN DIEGO — There’s a considerably common baseball phrase in Latin American nations that goes, “Despues del error, viene el hit.”
Venezuelan Jose Altuve, like each participant from Latin America, could be very conversant in this piece of philosophy. It means, “After the error, comes the hit.”
And boy did it ever come to fruition towards the Houston Astros after Altuve, a six-time All-Star and one-time Gold Glove winner, dedicated what turned out to be a backbreaking gaffe within the first inning when he short-hopped what ought to have been a straightforward, inning-ending throw to first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
Two pitches later, Manuel Margot slammed a three-run shot over the center-field fence, sending outfielder George Springer to seize his knees as he bent over in disbelief. The Tampa Bay Rays went on to win 4-2 and take a 2-Zero lead within the best-of-seven American League Championship Collection.
“We had been very stunned,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker mentioned. “That was his first throwing error of the season, and he made two as we speak. You simply hope he is not getting the yips, as a result of invariably they arrive in bunches. It’s important to flush it and transfer on or else it multiplies.”
It was really Altuve’s third throwing error of the postseason, after having none in the course of the common season. He had one towards the Minnesota Twins within the wild-card spherical.
Altuve didn’t take part in postgame Zoom interviews. His greatest pal on the roster, Carlos Correa, did.
“As a teammate, you need to be supportive,” Correa mentioned. “We’re down 0-2; we’ve not misplaced a collection. Now we have to remain optimistic. Now we have to play higher baseball to win this collection. The error already occurred, and there is nothing that may be performed about that.”
The weird a part of this Recreation 2 was how the Astros statistically did so many issues higher than the Rays. Houston outhit Tampa Bay 10-4. Astros pitchers struck out 13 batters whereas strolling none and allowed one earned run. Rays pitchers registered eight strikeouts, three walks and two earned runs.
“Baseball is a bizarre sport,” Correa mentioned. “You are able to do every thing proper and nonetheless come out on the mistaken finish.”
However it was that three-run house run after Altuve’s first-inning error that proved to be the distinction, making Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr.‘s excellent outing (seven innings, 11 strikeouts, one earned run) go for naught.
“Lance threw higher than [Rays starter] Charlie Morton or any of these guys over there; simply nothing to point out for it,” Baker mentioned. “It’s extremely irritating as a result of Charlie Morton wasn’t that sharp as we speak. I’ve seen him a lot sharper.”
Astros cleanup hitter Alex Bregman laced 5 balls in every single place — together with the sport’s ultimate out, a shot to right-center area that Kevin Kiermaier snagged — but nonetheless went 0-for-5.
“It’s extremely irritating as a result of all you hear is exit pace,” Baker mentioned. “We had some nice exit pace as we speak.”
Baker, the closest factor to a thinker in as we speak’s sport, was requested afterward about these pesky baseball gods and every thing they’ll do to a membership’s psyche.
“I am not one of many gods,” Baker mentioned. “If the gods did reply me then that may imply I am not right here on earth anymore. Like I mentioned, this sport is available in bunches; hits, runs, errors. Hopefully, that is the tip of the bunch.”
“I am not going to have a message aside from, ‘Hey, boys, we have to maintain swinging it,'” Baker mentioned. “Discuss is affordable. We simply have to seek out some holes.”