Jose Altuve put his mark on the postseason with a three-homer game in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday. But the Houston Astros second baseman insists his big game was more about helping his team than proving he deserves to be named AL MVP.
Altuve was asked after the 8-2 win over the Red Sox whether his big game was a statement about winning AL MVP.
“I don’t know about the MVP and all the stuff,” Altuve said in response to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. “All I know right now is I want to win. It’s a little different when you hit a homer in a playoff game, and the regular season, because now you have to win — it’s a five-game series.”
The game goes down as one of the most memorable of Altuve’s career in what has been an outstanding season. The game also marked the first three-homer game in the postseason since Pablo Sandoval in 2012.
Here is video of all three.
— Ronnie Laybold (@YotesHereToStay) October 5, 2017
Which was your favorite?
Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. George Brett. Albert Pujols. Adrian Beltre. Pablo Sandoval. Adam Kennedy. Bob Robertson. Jose Altuve.
Those are all the players who will forever live in lore amongst their fan base for putting together incredibly memorable performances in the postseason by clubbing three home runs in the same game.
The tiny Houston Astros second baseman joined elite company by blasting three out of the park in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. All three of his bombs were of the solo variety and went to left or left center.
The first two blasts came off Chris Sale, and the third was hit off Austin Maddox, which led to a curtain call. His first homer was part of a back-to-back with No. 2 hitter Alex Bregman.
The homer barrage in Game 1 should quell doubters who don’t think he deserves AL MVP.
Few awards in sports spark more arguments than Most Valuable Player. What is the definition of “valuable?” Can a pitcher win it? Do you have to lead your team to the playoffs to be serious considered? How much do defense, baserunning, and other variables matter when it comes to baseball. There’s still no good answer to these questions — it’s all in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the voter.
Even though we don’t know whom the voters will favor, we can predict which players will be serious candidates to win the award in both the American and National League. Here are five players from each who have a chance of taking home the awards come season’s end.
5) Jonathan Schoop, Orioles
Schoop isn’t getting a lot of publicity right now, but he’ll probably get some votes in the AL MVP race. The Orioles second baseman has posted a very strong season, hitting over .300 with 31 home runs and 102 RBIs. He’s been Baltimore’s best player, and an integral part of pulling them back into the wild-card race. If Baltimore can make the playoffs, Schoop may get even more attention.
4) Aaron Judge, Yankees
The Houston Astros went extra innings on Thursday night, but Jose Altuve did not figure in the late innings.
Altuve left the game after lining out to end the sixth inning. The Astros later said Altuve left with neck discomfort.
From the clubhouse: Altuve left tonight's game with neck discomfort.
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 25, 2017
Altuve was replaced in the 7th as Marwin Gonzalez moved over to second base. The MVP candidate was 1-for-3 prior to exiting the game.
Altuve is batting .357/.418/.564 for Houston, which sports the best record in the AL at 77-50 despite Thursday’s 5-4 loss in 11 innings.
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Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is fun of lighthearted moments and one involving Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve took place prior to first pitch.
Altuve is one of the best players in baseball. Tuesday marked his fourth consecutive midsummer classic and he finished third in the American League MVP voting last year. Altuve is also only listed at 5’6″. That’s considerably shorter than this year’s Home Run Derby winner Aaron Judge, who stands 6’7″.
To make up the difference for a photo, Altuve got a little help from a couple of teammates.
Jose Altuve needed a little boost to take a photo with Aaron Judge pic.twitter.com/RYckSXjyJB
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 11, 2017
— MLB (@MLB) July 11, 2017
Earlier this season, Altuve and Judge stood next to each other during a game between the Yankees and Astros and the memes followed in abundance. Take a look here.
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The baseball gods blessed us with a sight for the ages on Sunday.
In the first inning of the New York Yankees-Houston Astros game, Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge, who stands a towering 6-foot-7, smacked a one-out double and wound up next to 5-foot-6 Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
— Sports Funhouse (@SportsFunhouse) July 2, 2017
Predictably, the Internet did the thing that the Internet does.
Judge: "Felt a raindrop. I think it's raining."
Altuve: "I don't feel anything."
Judge: "It's still falling. Should reach you any minute." pic.twitter.com/fAmG17vnsH
— TotalProSports (@TotalProSports) July 2, 2017
One of the savviest things any Major League Baseball general manager can do is get a player on a cheap, long-term contract that covers the athlete’s prime years. It’s often done before a player truly establishes themselves as an elite force, though not always. Regardless, such deals can harness incredible talent while freeing up payroll space to add other pieces — or, for those on a non-contending franchise, add even more trade value to a player on the block.
Here is a list of 10 big league players who are currently playing at prices well below market value.
10) Christian Yelich, Miami (seven years, $49.57 million)
The 25-year-old Yelich has quietly developed into one of the National League’s better players.
Yelich has taken over as the Marlins’ full-time center fielder in 2017 for the first time, all while continuing to grow as a hitter. His offense is down a bit off a breakout 2016, where he hit .298 with 21 home runs and 38 doubles, but the sample size on his 2017 is small.
The Marlins are getting this for a bargain price.
Yelich is in the third season of a seven-year, $49.57 million pact with the Marlins. The deal could add an eighth year for another $15 million if Miami opts to exercise that team option for 2022. All this means is that Yelich, a five-win player by Baseball Reference’s WAR statistic, is signed through his physical prime for well below market value.
9) Chris Archer, Tampa Bay (six years, $25.5 million)