One of the great historical debates in baseball is whether Babe Ruth really did call his shot in the 1932 World Series.
There is no doubt about Carlos Correa: The Houston Astros star definitely called his in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
Correa hammered a home run to center field with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting Houston to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night in San Diego. As it turns out, while he might not have pointed toward the grandstand as Ruth was said to have done, Correa did exactly what he told Astros manager Dusty Baker he would do.
“Boy, that was very crucial,” Baker said. “I mean, Carlos told me before he went up there, he goes, ‘Walk-off.’ I said, ‘Go ahead on, man.’”
Correa turned around a 96 mph fastball from Rays closer Nick Anderson and deposited a 416-foot drive to center, as outfielder Kevin Kiermaier climbed the fence and watched helplessly as the ball sailed over his head. Correa walked slowly toward first base as the ball disappeared and finally started jogging as his teammates poured out of the dugout.
While admitting he predicted the home run, Correa said it wasn’t bravado but a bit of in-game advice that made him so confident.
“Anderson is a great pitcher and I don’t mean no disrespect when I call my shot,” Correa said. “It’s just that after my second at-bat, I went in the cage. [Hitting coach Alex] Cintron called me and told me a couple of things that made my swing feel great.”
Correa added that after the adjustment everything clicked.
“I was like, ‘Wow, this feels good,’” he said. “So when I went into that at-bat, I told [Jose] Altuve walking off the field, I said, ‘I’m going to end it.’”
The home run was a fitting finish for a Houston club making history with each victory after dropping the first three games of the series. The Astros are only the fourth of 38 teams in postseason history to force a sixth game after falling into a 3-0 series hole. Only the 2004 Boston Red Sox have forced a seventh game in such scenarios; they beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS before winning their long-awaited World Series.
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