Carlos Correa leads his team to victory…
In a battle of the bullpens, the 25-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop hit a leadoff home run in the 11th inning that lifted the Houston Astros over the New York Yankees 3-2 on Sunday night, tying the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.
Correa, who earlier lined an RBI double and made a sensational play at shortstop, connected for an opposite-field shot to right off J.A. Happ.
“Not playing a couple of weeks before the playoffs and then not producing for my team offensively, obviously it’s tough, getting hurt and everything,” the All-Starsaid. “But it’s all worth it for moments like this, moments like this where you give your team a chance to win every day, it’s worth it, man.”
Hours earlier, Correa was confident this would be the day he turned things around after slumping this month. After starting out 3 for 22 in the postseason after returning from back problems.
“I’ve got my swing back,” he said then. “I’m going to hit a homer tonight.”
And with a swing that kept Houston from falling into an 0-2 hole, he did just that.
“Going into that last inning I thought: `I got this. I feel like I got this,'” Correa said. “And I had the right approach against him. I’ve been successful against him going the other way. And that’s what I try to do, I saw a good pitch down the middle and I drove the other way.”
Correa watched the ball sail, tossed his bat, put his hand to one ear to soak in the roars of the crowd and then held up one finger as he rounded the bases. As he approached home plate, he tossed his helmet as if shooting a basketball at the crowd of teammates waiting for him.
“As soon as I hit it I knew it was going to go over the fence,” he said. “The adrenaline started pumping like crazy. I don’t even know what I did. I’ve got to go watch the video. But I know I was so hyped.”
Correa’s big night gave him 27 RBIs in the postseason to pass Lance Berkmanfor the most in franchise history. And it was a familiar scene — in Game 2 of the 2017ALCS against the Yankees, Correa hit a walk-off double in the ninth.
“You look at his RBI totals in the postseason, you look at his walk-offs, you look at the big moments, he’s a pretty special man,” manager AJ Hinchsaid.
Game 3 is Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.