- Previously a Staff Writer at Bleacher Report
Cornell University graduate
Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez could not be stopped.
At a time when his team needed him most, Houston’s designated hitter broke out big, almost single-handedly leading the Astros to the American League pennant. In the final three games of the American League Championship Series — a run that started with the Astros facing a 2-1 series deficit to the Red Sox — Alvarez went 9-for-13. In Games 5 and 6, he outhit the entire Red Sox roster on his own, 7-5. His ALCS performance peaked at Minute Maid Park in Game 6: 4-for-4 with a single, a double, a triple, a run and an RBI, as Houston finished off the series with a 5-0 victory over Boston.
Alvarez is only the second player in Astros history with 11 hits in a playoff series, behind only Jose Altuve’s 12 in the 2020 ALCS. He became the fifth player in MLB history with 11 or more hits in a single series versus the Red Sox, joining a club with Hideki Matsui (2004), Lou Brock (1967), Buck Herzog (1912) and Bernie Williams (2004).
Alvarez’s three extra-base hits in a potential series-clinching game ties him for the most in Astros history (with Carlos Correa), and he joins Yuli Gurriel and Craig Biggio as the only Astros with consecutive three-hit games in the postseason.
Alvarez’s successful 2019 campaign for Rookie of the Year — where he hit .313/.412/.655 with 27 homers, 26 doubles and 78 RBIs with 3.7 bWAR in 87 games — served as his introduction to the national stage, but he cemented his place among the best designated hitters with his 2021 season, hitting .277/.346/.531 with 33 homers, 104 RBIs, 35 doubles and a triple with 3.2 bWAR this year.
As the spotlight got brighter, so did Alvarez’s performance at the plate. The ALCS MVP trophy served as a cherry on top.
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