*Altuve's Mad Dash. The Verlander Game. Whatever you want to call it, yesterday was a nerve-wracking bundle of nerves I'll never forget. Of course the two most potent offenses in the American League have combined for six runs in the first two games. Justin Verlander threw a complete game and Gary Pettis induced a collective heart attack on the Astros' way to another 2-1 win. Win two of the next five games.
*Correa, to Altuve before the 9th:
We got to do this for the team, we got to come through right now in this inning.
*Altuve was on 1st in the bottom of the 9th when Correa hit a double to right-center field. Correa:
When I saw him running I was like, 'Oh God.' And then obviously he beat it out.
Same. Except he didn't beat it out. Gary Sanchez misplayed the throw, allowing the Altuve to score and the Astros to take both games in Houston. Bob Klapisch has an excellent piece on why Sanchez didn't make that tag.
I was just happy we won the ballgame. At that point, everybody is celebrating. You don't remember anything but the fact you won, and that's good enough.
*Altuve went 1st-to-home in 10.27 seconds.
*Verlander, who threw 9IP, 5H/1ER, 13K:1BB:
When I decided to say yes, these are the moments that you envision. You don't envision going 5-0 in the regular season once you get here, that's all fine and great, but that's not why I was brought here. I was brought here to help this team win a championship.
I'm pretty tired right now, honestly. It's pretty mentally exhausting, the playoffs, but that's what it's all about. After that game is over and just kind of sitting in the clubhouse and having my teammates come over and say how much they appreciated that effort, that's what it's all about.
I would have had to rip the ball away from that man if I was going to take him out. And sometimes you have to combine what you know with what you see. And that's really hard to do in this job, obviously it's a results-oriented game. When it works out you feel great about it. If it didn't work out I would have felt terrible about it. But when you see him finish games the way that he finishes, it's really hard to take him out of that moment.
*Verlander became the 7th pitcher to allow five or fewer hits with 13+ strikeouts in a postseason game. Read this article to see how Beltran has influenced the Astros' hitters and how data has helped Verlander become a more dominant pitcher. Correa:
That was the most fun I've ever had on a baseball field.
*NY Post's Mike Vaccaro: That's why the Astros traded for Verlander.
*Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, Games 1/2 combined: 0x14, 8K.
*Josh Reddick, who robbed a Chase Headley maybe-homer and then threw out Brett Gardner at 3rd base:
The little things may be blown into a lot bigger proportion than you're usually used to. During the season you come in here and miss the cutoff guy, you worry about the next day and doing it better. If your team loses because of it, you look back and go, 'Well, there's always tomorrow.' Now, you don't get that opportunity to look back.
*The Game 2 win made the Astros' FiveThirtyEight's favorites to win the World Series. The Astros win the pennant in 83% of their simulations. And in 86% of FanGraphs' simulations.
*Richard Justice: G2 win adds to the Astros' special resume.
*Everyone wants to call Carson Riley "Jeffrey Maier II"
*Yahoo's Jeff Passan: The Yankees couldn't live up to the Astros' "play clean" mantra.
*The New York Post ain't slick.
*Newsday: The difference between the Astros and Yankees is minimal. Other than that 2-0 thing.
*Alex Cora will interview with the Red Sox, Mets, and Tigers for their managerial opening.