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Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve breathes new life into Astros season

  • Manuel Gómez - East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director Manuel Gómez, East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director
  • October 20, 2021

Jose Altuve silences another crowd with clutch home run

BOSTON – Since the start of the 2020 season, Jose Altuve has suffered the scorn of angry baseball fans upset about the sign-stealing scandal. This postseason has featured more of the same, especially at Fenway Park.

At various moments, Red Sox fans in the stands break out in deafening “F*** Altuve!” chants. Pair this with the 31-year-old Venezolano struggling at the plate, and you start to question the toll the abuse is taking on his mental fortitute.

Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox was no different. The chants continued while Altuve failed to record a hit in his first three plate appearances, stretching his hitless streak to 12 at bats.

Then, suddenly in the eighth inning, with the Astros trailing 2-1, something clicked. Altuve led off with a shot over the Green Monster. The former American League MVP jumped all over Garret Whitlock’s first pitch of the at-bat, tying the score and changing the momentum of the best-of-seven ALCS.

Altuve’s teammates then mounted a seven-run rally in the ninth inning to pull away for a 9-2 victory, tying the ALCS at 2 games apiece.

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Pressure is Off

José Altuve, Houston Astros

This game-tying blast etched the second baseman’s name in the history books. With 21 career home runs, Altuve passed Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter for third all-time in postseason homers.

Jose Altuve pays no mind to the numbers, though. All Altuve cares about is winning.

“Every time you hit a homer, you’re scoring some runs for your team and trying to win,” he said. “In order to win, you need to score some runs, so I’m happy that I’m hitting those homers.”

The Astros eventually won the game with their amazing, two-out, seven-run rally. Catcher Jason Castro broke the tie with an RBI single to right, driving in the first of what would become a franchise record for runs in a postseason inning.

Altuve’s heroics ease some of the burden from his teammates.

Jose Altuve quiets another crowd

“For him to go out there and deliver, quiet the fans, and give us a chance to win the game, it’s special,” Carlos Correa said about Altuve. “You know, there’s some pressure off his shoulders. He hasn’t been swinging the bat great, but he keeps fighting every single day.”

Altuve’s home run didn’t just take some pressure off his shoulders either. With the Fenway crowd deflated, it seemed that Houston’s entire dugout felt relieved of pressure.

From that moment on, the Astros never looked back, tacking on another 7 runs in the 9th inning to even the series 2-2.

“Once José hit that homer, he gave us life,” Correa said. “Then we went out there and won the game.”

With the ALCS tied, the Astros are now guaranteed to return to Houston for a decisive game. First, however, Jose Altuve will try to silence the Fenway crowd in Game 5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Featured photo b Omar Rawlings/Getty Images.

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