BRONX — Through two games, the American League Championship Series has proved to have a prominent stack of players who shine brighter than their city’s lights. Two Latinos have fueled their offense in both Game 1 and Game 2 to remain neck-and-neck with their postseason opponents: Gleyber Torres in Game 1 and Carlos Correa in Game 2.
Carlos Correa struck postseason gold Sunday night when he faced J.A. Happ’s first pitch in the bottom of the 11th-inning in Game 2 of the ALCS, a pitch he would send soaring into the left field stands that would send Minute Maid Park into a frenzy as the Astros won 3-2, tying the series at one.
“When I was running the bases I wasn’t even thinking, to be honest,” Correa said following the game. “I was just enjoying the moment, listening to the fans and how loud they were. It was a special moment.”
Correa spent a chunk of the 2019 season on the injured list with a fractured rib but returned just in time to make the postseason roster. In 75 games during the season, Correa hit .279 with 21 home runs and 59 RBI.
“Moments like this like tonight make everything worth it. Nights of hard work, doing my rehab, not missing anything, it’s all worth it when you look at moments like this.”
In Game 1 Gleyber Torres became the youngest player in postseason history to hit five RBI in a single postseason game, a game in which he was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
“Really I think I feel comfortable. Is so great to play with the Yankees and I get the opportunity to play every day. So for me I’m just being focused, each position I just try to help and make.”
Comfortable. It’s a word Torres has used time and time again to express his postseason success in the batter’s box and fielding second base. How does a 22-year-old youngster from Caracas, Venezuela find comfortability underneath the bright lights of October baseball?
Torres has been determined to step-up in high pressure situations after falling to the Boston Red Soxs in the American League Division Series in 2018. Since the beginning of the 2019 season, Torres has put up MVP like statistics with 38 home runs and 90 RBI on the season, as well as sustaining a Gold Glove caliber resumé at second base.
In Sevy They Trust
Luis Severino hopes to elevate the Yankees in the best-of-seven series, as he sets to take the mound and go head-to-head with 20-game winner Gerrit Cole.
Severino proved his postseason value when he pitched against the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Severino was able to defuse himself from a bases loaded, no outs jam and complete four scoreless innings before handing the ball over to the Yankees bullpen.
“You’ve got to be able to handle situations, handle the moment, handle adversity, handle success on the fly. And the one thing about Seve is I feel like he’s been through a lot as a young major leaguer; lots of success, some bumps in the road, some stumbles, an injury now this year.” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said when talking about his Game 3 starter. “Whatever the result ends up being, he’s in command of the moment.”
Majority of the players, on both ends, freshly remember the last time the Yankees and Astros faced off in the ALCS in 2017. Going into Game 3 the Yankees were down 0-2 in the series but came to realize how magical Yankee Stadium can be in October and won all three games in front of their fans before dropping two games in Houston, allowing the Astros to advance and eventually win the 2017 World Series.
“I always had confidence in myself, doesn’t matter what happened the year before or the day before,” Severino said. “It’s always the next day what matters. Doesn’t matter what happened in the past. That game give me the same confidence I always have to go out there and compete for my team.”
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