With the Houston Astros winning a couple more series on the backs of its proven stars, and in light of a window that may be closing (although maybe not if we can keep getting quality pitching from the international market), it’s an opportune time to look at the career playoff leaderboards to see where a few people stand.
Before looking at the leaderboards, it’s helpful to put this postseason run of success in context. We now know that not a lot of teams get to the ALCS four years in a row. (Just 3: the 1971-75 Athletics, 1998-01 Yankees, and the 2017-20 Astros.) But a brief stroll down playoff history lane reveals we’re in nothing short of a golden era.
I became an Astros fan when I turned on the playoffs on a fateful October day in 1980. The Astros beat the Phillies, and I decided to become an Astros fan. That’s it. Of course they lost that series, and then the next year lost the best-of-three series against the Dodgers. I had to wait until 1986 for the Astros to get back into the postseason. Man, I loved that team, and they pushed a great Mets team to the brink, but lost 4-2.
The team then kind of tanked until the Craig Biggio/Jeff Bagwell era came into its prime; the playoff failures of those teams are well known in these parts. In their seventh playoffs, the Astros finally won a series. The next year they won two series. Three series victories for my first 35 years of fandom.
The current Astros core has not only rewarded us for our patience, but amassed some serious counting numbers. We know about some of these. But with at least one more series in store, it’s worth looking at where some of our guys are on those lists.
HOME RUNS: Manny Ramirez has the most at 29, followed by two Yankees not to be named. George Springer is tied for 7th with 17, He’s played 56 playoff games and Manny logged 111. How great is October George?! Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are tied for 12th with 15. Alex Bregman is tied for 23rd with 11. Three more long balls and Springer will be tied for 3rd.
DOUBLES: Derek Jeter leads the way with 32 in 158 playoff games. Springer is tied for 16th with 15 two-baggers. Yuli Gurriel is tied for 31st with 12, and Correa has 11.
HITS: The ultimate counting stat! Jeter has 200. Bernie Williams is 2nd with 128. Altuve is tied with Carlos Beltran for 22nd with 66. He could pass Steve Garvey for 15th if he gets 9 more hits this postseason.
RUNS: Springer is 21st with 40 runs. He would pass Rickey Henderson and get into the Top 10 with eight more runs this postseason. Bregman is tied for 26th, one behind Lance Berkman.
RBI: Bernie Williams has 80 in 121 games. Carlos Correa has 45 RBI in 56 playoff games, putting him 9th in baseball history! Seriously, give Carlos 300 million for 8 years, and keep Captain Correa with us. He will pass Reggie Jackson with four more RBI. It took Mr. October 77 games to get there. Sorry, Reggie, I’ll take the Captain. Altuve is 29th and Springer 34th. These guys pass people with almost every run, hit, RBI. And a big series from Bregman will have him right on the other guys’ backs.
After our first two Hall of Famers, Biggio and Bagwell, were a bit tainted by their lack of playoff success, it’s nice to have guys whose careers will forever be interwoven with what we’ve witnessed since 2015.
LET’S GO, ‘STROS! BEAT TAMPA!