ATLANTA — Alex Bregman has performed within the World Collection in three of the final 5 years and is aware of what to anticipate. He and a few of his longtime teammates on the Houston Astros are intimately conversant in each facet of the method, from the journey to the video games and the interviews afterward.
So Bregman knew, when starter Luis Garcia answered a reporter’s query in Spanish early Saturday morning after Houston misplaced Sport 3 of the World Collection, that an interpreter was about to supply the English translation of Garcia’s response.
However Bregman playfully reduce him off with a boilerplate, cliché reply.
“He’s grateful to God for the chance to play within the World Collection,” Bregman interjected.
The room the place the information convention was held erupted with laughter as Bregman took a sip from a water bottle, leaned again and gave a wry smile.
Impeccable timing is the signature of profitable comedians and baseball hitters alike. Bregman often has it. A profession .281 batter who completed second within the American League Most Worthwhile Participant Award voting two years in the past, Bregman — together with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve — has been an instrumental part of the Astros’ success during the last half decade.
However other than a couple of exceptions, the three of them haven’t hit as they wish to over the A.L. Championship Collection and World Collection this October, and the state of affairs got here to a head in Sport 3 on Friday when Houston was held hitless by way of seven innings and barely scraped out a pair of singles in a 2-0 loss to Atlanta.
Bregman had one of many hits, a single by way of the defensive shift main off the ninth inning. However he by no means even made it to second base as Yordan Alvarez, Correa and Kyle Tucker all made outs. It was Bregman’s first hit of the collection, and he batted solely .217 within the A.L.C.S.
“Feeling higher right now on the plate,” he stated after the sport. “Simply making an attempt to swing at good pitches right now, good pitches to hit. Missed one, my second at-bat, and simply fouled it straight again. However general, trying ahead to persevering with to compete within the field.”
Correa hit a giant residence run in Sport 1 of the A.L.C.S., however since them he has gone 4 for 30 (.133) with one extra-base hit, one run batted in and 9 strikeouts. He went 1 for 10 within the first three video games of the World Collection.
Altuve hit a tack-on residence run in Sport 2 of the World Collection, which he hoped would carry him out of a droop. He had solely two hits in 26 at-bats within the six video games earlier than that and in Sport 3 he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
Mixed, the three Astros stars are 4 for 32 within the World Collection — add in Alvarez, the cleanup hitter and most dear participant of the A.L.C.S., and they’re 5 for 40 — which helps clarify why Atlanta leads the collection, two video games to 1.
“You depend on these guys,” stated Supervisor Dusty Baker. “However nobody can hit on a regular basis. You get spoiled by the truth that they’re hitting virtually day by day. I preserve referring to the legislation of averages. The extra these guys get out, the extra they’re one at-bat away from a scorching streak. That’s how hitters assume.
“It’s like, OK, ‘If I’m not hitting right now or tomorrow, then any person is in hassle within the close to future, the very close to future.’”
Baker hopes that can occur in Sport 4, which is scheduled for Saturday night time, climate allowing, and he is aware of his core has accomplished it earlier than. The infield of Bregman, Altuve and Correa has performed in two World Collection Sport 7s, and all the opposite postseason video games that had been wanted simply to get there. They gained the Sport 7 in 2017, the yr that they used illicit means to steal signs from opposing teams, and misplaced in 2019, the one World Collection the place the house crew misplaced all seven video games.
In 2017, Bregman, Altuve and Correa every hit two residence runs within the Collection and knocked in a mixed 16 runs. Bregman hit three residence runs within the 2019 World Collection. Having seen all that he has over three World Collection, Bregman didn’t appear panicky in regards to the state of affairs, nor did he miss the prospect so as to add a comic book’s contact to ease the stress. Maybe that’s precisely what the Astros hitters want.
“It’s been enjoyable,” Bregman stated. “Each groups are actually good. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why you play the sport, to play within the World Collection, two of the perfect groups within the sport going at it.”