The ‘defending champion’ Houston Astros is on the verge of advancing to the World Series for the third consecutive year.굿모닝토토
Houston was the 21st (Korean time) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, USA. In the 5th game of the American League Championship Series (ALCS, best of 7) against the Texas Rangers of the 2023 American Professional Baseball Major League, Jose Altuve’s strike occurred in the top of the 9th inning. Thanks to a come-from-behind 3-pointer, they achieved a 5-4 victory.
After losing games 1 and 2 to Texas, Houston won games 3, 4, and 5, leaving only one win behind in advancing to the World Series. Houston previously advanced to the World Series in 2021 and 2022 and even won the championship in 2022.
The biggest contributor to the victory was the ‘little giant’ Altuve. Houston was down 2-4 until the bottom of the 8th inning. However, in the final attack of the top of the 9th inning, Houston knocked out Texas closer Jose LeClerk.
In the top of the 9th inning, pinch hitter Jainer Diaz reached base with a single to left, and then John Singleton walked, giving him a chance to reach first and second base with no outs. Then, Altuve, who came to bat, kicked a 143km changeup that fell low on Kler’s second pitch and connected it with a come-from-behind 3-run home run that went over the left wall.
The home run that day was Altuve’s 26th career home run in the postseason. It was an important scene that reaffirmed that Altuve was the ‘man of fall baseball.’
Since the 5th game was played with 2 wins and 2 losses, there was tension throughout the game. Houston took the lead in the top of the first inning with Alex Bregman’s solo home run, but Texas tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with Nathaniel Law’s solo home run to left.
Houston broke the balance in the top of the 6th inning with Jose Abreu’s 1-run, timely hit, but Texas turned the tide in the bottom of the 6th inning when Adolis Garcia hit a 3-run home run over the left-center field fence.
Garcia admired the ball without leaving the batter’s box until it landed in the outfield stands. He then checked the location of the hit and held a ceremony where he threw the bat hard.
This scene became a problem. Houston, who felt that Garcia’s actions had disrespected them, took revenge. With no outs on first base in the bottom of the 8th inning, Houston right-handed relief pitcher Brian Abreu hit Garcia with a 159 km fast ball.
Garcia, who judged it to be an intentional empty ball, lunged at Houston catcher Martin Maldonado, leading to a bench clearing. The umpire ordered Abreu, who deliberately threw the ball to the body, and Garcia, who rushed at the catcher, to leave. In addition, Houston coach Dusty Baker, who fiercely protested Abreu’s expulsion, was also ejected.
After the commotion ended, the flow of the game shifted to Houston. Altuve’s 3-pointer in the top of the 9th inning led to a comeback, and in the bottom of the 9th inning, they were on first and 2nd base with no outs, but Houston shortstop Grae Kessinger jumped and caught Texas Marcus Siemian’s hit straight ball, overcoming the final hurdle.