When you’re in the postseason, you’re gonna have plenty of chances to make history. After an out-of-this-world victory in Game 5 on Thursday, the Astros won again on Friday night to force an against-the-odds Game 7.
They were the 39th team to trail 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, but after Friday’s showdown against the Rays, they are now only the second to force a Game 7, along with the Red Sox back in 2014 against the Yankees. But let’s take a look at Friday’s action in terms of STATS!
You gotta love Framber
Hey, I might be the biggest fan of Framber Valdez on Earth right now. He’s earned all the respect and all the love with courage and braveness. What he did against the Rays was just unbelievable and rarely seen before.
The young Dominican became only the second starter in the ALCS history to go at least six innings, allowing three or fewer hits and one or zero runs while striking out nine or more hitters in a game of potential elimination. The first to ever do it was Matt Garza pitching for the Rays against the Red Sox, on October 19, 2008.
As if it wasn’t enough, Valdez is now the fourth Astros pitcher to win at least three games in a single postseason. The other three are Roy Oswalt (3, 2005), Justin Verlander (4, 2017), and Gerrit Cole (4, 2019).
Speaking of quality, his curveball enters the conversation. With his eight punchouts via the curve on Friday, Valdez has 21 on that pitch alone this October. That’s the most strikeouts with that pitch in a postseason since Madison Bumgarner had 23 back in 2014.
Altuve and Correa’s greatness
José Altuve collected two more hits in Game 7. That gives him 76 in his postseason career and helps him surpass Steve Garvey in the 15th place on the all-time list. Right above him are Reggie Jackson (78), Tino Martínez (83), Paul O’Neill (85), and Pete Rose (86).
Regarding Correa, his RBI single in the fifth inning was his 48th career postseason run batted in. Despite being only 26 years old, the Puerto Rican shortstop tied Jackson for the 7th most in postseason history since 1920 (when RBI became an official stat).
Above Correa are Albert Pujols (54), David Ortiz (61), Derek Jeter (61), David Justice (63), Manny Ramírez (78), and Bernie Williams (80).
How about Tucker?
Yes, how about Kyle Tucker? Tucker finally left his slump behind (3-for-17 in the prior five games) and hit a very helpful solo home run in the sixth frame.
Thanks to that four-bagger against lefty rookie Shane McClanahan, Tucker (23 years and 274 days) became only the third hitter in the ALCS history to hit a home run in a potential elimination game of before the age of 24.
The other two on that list are Hall of Famer George Brett (10/14/1976 Vs. Yankees) and former All-Star Matt Nokes (10/12/1987).
And with another game tomorrow, the Astros aren’t done yet.