HOUSTON — Things are going so well for the Astros nowadays that they had the ability to conquer a set of expensive ninth-inning miscues Thursday night versus the Tigers and still handle to delight in a walk-off event at Minute Maid Park.
Astros more detailed Ryan Pressly, pitching for the very first time in almost a month, blew a conserve when he quit a two-out, two-strike, game-tying homer to Tigers 3rd baseman Jeimer Candelario in the ninth inning. Then, leading off the bottom of the ninth, Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez stood in package and appreciated his fly ball to left-center that didn’t clear the wall, leaving him with a single rather of a double.
Alvarez, pulled from the video game for a quicker runner by supervisor Dusty Baker, was let off the hook minutes later on when Kyle Tucker shot a single through the left side of the infield to score pinch-runner Chas McCormick from 2nd base to send out the Astros to their 4th successive win, 3-2, over the Tigers.
“When I took him out for a pinch-[runner], he came to me immediately and he said that he messed up. I said, ‘Yeah, I know,’” Baker stated. “Baseball’s a game; like life, it teaches you lessons sometimes. That probably won’t happen again. I’m glad we won the game. We all thought it was gone, but the ball is not gone until it disappears over the fence. Like I said, he learned a lesson. He really [would have] felt bad had we lost that ballgame. Sometimes, you need your teammates to bail you out.”
Leading off the ninth versus hard-throwing Tigers reducer Gregory Soto, Alvarez squashed a 90.4 miles per hour slider and sent it soaring towards the wall in left-center field. Thinking he might have struck a walk-off homer, Alvarez viewed the flight of the ball and needed to scamper to initially when it struck simply listed below the yellow line.
“[The ball] is traveling eight feet less than normal, I read somewhere, but eight feet on Alvarez is usually the difference between 450 and 442,” Baker stated.
According to Statcast, Alvarez’s fly ball took a trip 397 feet and had an exit speed of 106.4 miles per hour. The ball would have been a crowning achievement in 13 parks, and it definitely looked and seemed like a homer off the bat.
“I think I froze a little bit after I hit the ball,” Alvarez said. “I thought the ball was gone. Obviously, that doesn’t justify me not running.”
Alvarez right away went to Baker in the dugout and asked forgiveness.
“Super happy we won the game, but still a little bit upset that I disrespected my teammates and the game a little bit there,” Alvarez stated.
McCormick was pressed to 2nd base by a walk provided to Yuli Gurriel and scored on Tucker’s grounder through a hole developed on the left side of the infield by the shift. It was Tucker’s 2nd profession walk-off hit, signing up with a homer to beat the Mariners on Aug. 16, 2020.
“You have to respect how hard [Soto] throws, so you have to get down for his heater and then do as best you can off the slider,” Tucker stated. “We put up some pretty good ABs between Yordan, Yuli and I, and it worked out well for us.”
The Astros were one strike far from publishing their 3rd nothing in 4 video games when Pressly left a curveball over the plate for Candelario, who switched on it and sent it 383 feet over the right-field wall to connect the video game. Pressly was pitching for the very first time because April 13 due to the fact that of best knee swelling.
“It felt good to get out there,” Pressly stated. “I had a very poorly executed pitch. Probably a handful of times I can count I’ve done something like that and it’s frustrating, especially being the first time out. Thank God for Tuck and Yordan and everybody who swung the bat really well today and bailed me out.”
Pressly started the ninth by getting Javier Báez to ground out and Austin Meadows to fly out. Miguel Cabrera followed with his 3rd single of the video game to pass Al Kaline for the No. 31 area on the all-time MLB strikes list and was then raised for a pinch-runner. Pressly got ahead of Candelario, 1-2, however couldn’t complete him off.
“He made some quality pitches,” Baker stated. “The guy fouled off a tough breaking ball and then he got a breaking ball up. [Pressly] felt badly, too, but he was throwing the ball well and in everybody’s opinion, he’s been one of the best closers in baseball for a long time and a long time to come. We can look back and say, ‘What if?’ but the bottom line is we won the game.”