All-Star conversations should start picking up by Monday, but Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve would like your attention right this instant. In Houston's dramatic 4-3 win over Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Friday — which snapped their league best eight-game winning streak — Altuve was the best player on the field and was directly involved in a difference making play.
With the score tied in the fifth inning and runners at the corners, Detroit catcher Alex Avila attempted a snap pickoff throw on George Springer at first base. Springer was safe, and without hesitation Altuve broke from third in an attempt to steal home. The return throw from Miguel Cabrera was off line but had Altuve beat. However, Altuve used his quickness and his 5-foot-5 stature to slip around the tag and get a hand on home plate.
They say the triple is the most exciting play in baseball, but a good steal of home like Altuve's has to be right up there, too. It was a breathtaking effort to get his second career steal of home.
But that was only one of Altuve's contributions on Friday. He finished the game 4-for-5 with one run, one RBI and two steals, raising his season total to 32 steals in 35 attempts. The multihit game was his 33rd, which leads all of baseball. In fact, he leads MLB with 111 hits this season. Miguel Cabrera is second with 103 coming into play on Saturday.
Quite frankly, if Altuve isn't an All-Star, then something is wrong. He's earned his spot, and he's someone fans will enjoy getting to watch on a big stage. Hopefully we'll get that chance.
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