As has been the case so often this season, the smallest player on the field came through for the Houston Astros in a big way on Thursday.
Jose Altuve homered not once, not twice but three times against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, becoming the ninth ever and the second second baseman ever (along with Adam Kennedy) to launch three dingers in a postseason contest.
Atluve first went yard in the first inning off Boston ace Chris Sale, one batter after Alex Bregman had given the Astros a 1-0 lead with a solo shot of his own.
— Houston Astros (@astros) October 5, 2017
Altuve’s second homer, also off Sale, was another absolute blast to left-center field. This one came in the fifth inning and extended Houston’s lead to 5-2.
— MLB (@MLB) October 5, 2017
As if two homers off one of the best pitchers in the world wasn’t enough, Altuve went and hit a third, this one off reliever Austin Maddox, pushing the Astros’ lead to 8-2.
Altuve… for 3?
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 5, 2017
After blast No. 3, Altuve acknowledged the roaring Houston fans with an extremely well-deserved curtain call.
Altuve may very well win the American League MVP award this season, and although it won’t chiefly be for his home-run power, we have to acknowledge how incredible it is that a 5-foot-6-inch player can hit 24 homers two seasons in a row. That he can also launch three long balls in a single game? That’s just unbelievable.