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Houston Astros: 3 Takeaways From Game 1 of the ALDS

Joe Fernandez
Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros hits a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros hits a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 11: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 11: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hitting a walk-off home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in game one of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 11, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Yordan Alvarez is already the series MVP.

Everyone knew how good Yordan Alvarez was. Everyone except Robbie Ray apparently who decided to challenge Alvarez with a fastball over the heart of the plate twice.

Alvarez made him pay on the second pitch with a no-doubt home run to deep right field that ended a remarkable rally by the Houston Astros. It was one of those swings that as soon as you heard the crack of the bat you knew it was gone.

But that wasn’t all Alvarez did. He drove in the Astros first two runs of the game with a double off the left field wall to cut the Mariners lead to 4-2. He also threw Ty France out by a mile from left field to end Justin Verlander’s misery in the fourth inning. An inning that if France scores Verlander may get pulled mid-inning and the Mariners could have piled on.

Sending France in that moment was a bit of hubris on the Mariners part as they already had a four run lead and with that at-bat had most likely knocked Verlander out of the game.

With arguably the hottest hitter on their team coming up in Cal Raleigh, the laissez-faire sending of Ty France against Alvarez’s arm seemed like regardless of if France scores or not the game is in the bag so no big deal if he’s out at home.

That moment is a little underrated as a turning point for obvious reasons, but that inning had the potential to be a whole lot bigger with runners on the corners and Cal Raleigh, who’s already had some big home runs this year, up next.

There was nothing Alvarez didn’t do this game and he almost single-handedly dragged the Astros to a victory contributing five of the eight RBI on the day. Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel each had home runs that inched the Astros closer, but Alvarez did the heavy lifting of scoring the Astros first and final runs.

It’s clear that the Astros will have to ride Alvarez’s intimidating presence in the middle of the lineup to victories this series as the Mariners pitching is quite stout.

If you want to see how valuable Yordan Alvarez was in game one, here’s an interesting statistic from Mike Petriello that Alvarez had the most valuable postseason game ever, adding 105 percent win possibility to the Astros.

Truly an all-around incredible game from the big man.

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