Carlos Correa didn’t just hit a walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the American League Championship Series for the Houston Astros, he gave the most swagger-filled postseason homer since Jose Bautista. He probably earned himself a spot in a future MLB ad campaign too.
Correa led off the eleventh inning of the 2-2 tie between the Astros and the New York Yankees and sent everybody right back to the clubhouse. He clobbered the first pitch from J.A. Happ into the right-field seats. There was no doubt about this one.
So instead of watching the ball, everybody got to watch Correa react to the biggest homer of his career. And it was pure entertainment.
He didn’t flip his bat. Rather, he watched the ball for a second and dropped his bat like he were dropping a mic. He raised his hand to ear, as if to say, “let me hear it,” a gesture that just riled up his teammates and the hometown fans even more. MLB’s current postseason marketing campaign is “We Play Loud” and this moment seemed scripted for it. Have a look:
If you want to see the joy and pain of a postseason home run, look at this picture of Correa reveling in the moment as Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez accepts his team’s fate and starts to walk away.
Correa trotted around the bases, but when he got halfway down the third-base line he figured he’d act a bit like a basketball player instead. Russell Westbrook was seated nearby, so maybe that was the inspiration. Again, some tremendous photographs captured here.
Surely you’ll recall Jose Bautista’s home run and bat flip in Game 5 of the ALDS for the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s probably the most famous bat flip of all time and THE most polarizing moment in baseball’s modern era, as young personalities are challenging the old-school unwritten rules of the game. This wasn’t that good, but it’s the best we’ve seen since then.
So far, Correa’s homer hasn’t inspired grumpy finger-waving and respect-the-game takes — but they could still come. A lot of people were asleep by the time this almost-five-hour game wrapped up. Most people, at least in the immediate aftermath, seemed to appreciate the homer for what it is: A tremendous moment in a tightly contested game.
And a moment that — let’s be honest — warranted some celebration.
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