HOUSTON - We'll make this simple - the home run that Jose Altuve hit to end the highly anticipated American League championship series between Goliath and Goliath, excuse me, the Astros and Yankees, is the biggest single moment in Astros postseason history -- among moments that occurred outside the 2017 World Series.
The moments that immediately come to mind as the greatest in Astros playoff history:
1986 NLCS Game 6 vs Mets
- Billy Hatcher's home run off the foul pole in the bottom of the 14th inning.
2005 NLDS Game 4 vs Braves
- Chris Burke's walkoff home run in the 18th inning to clinch the series for Houston.
2005 NLCS Game 6 vs Cardinals
- Jason Lane catches the final out of the series-clinching win, which sends the Astros to their first World Series.
2017 ALDS Game 1 vs Red Sox
- Jose Altuve homers in the seventh inning of Game 1 for his third home run of the game.
2017 ALCS Game 2 vs Yankees
- Carlos Correa doubles and Altuve comes all the way around from first to beat the relay throw home to win the game in the ninth inning.
2019 ALCS Game 2 vs Yankees
- Correa hits the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning for a walkoff home run evening the series at 1-1.
But those moments all come in behind the latest Altuve blast and, of course, also behind a host of moments from the 2017 World Series that had a lifetime of unforgettable moments.
Here are the top eight moments from that series for the Astros:
2017 WS Game 2 vs Dodgers
- With the Astros down 1-0 in the series and down 3-2 in the ninth inning, Marwin Gonzalez hits a home run off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen on an 0-2 pitch. The ball sails over the fence in center field and electrifies the Astros dugout.
- An inning later, Altuve hits a home run to give the Astros a 4-3 lead. Next batter, Correa hits a home run to put the Astros in front 5-3 in the 10th inning.
- After Ken Giles allowed the Dodgers to tie the score in the bottom of the 10th inning, George Springer tattoos Brandon McCarthy's 2-1 pitch in the 11th inning for a two-run home run to give Houston a 7-5 lead. It was the Astros fourth home run in a span of 13 hitters. They won the game, 7-6.
2017 WS Game 5 vs Dodgers
- The Astros trailed by three runs in the fourth inning with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Yuli Gurriel absolutely crushes the first pitch from Kershaw for a score-tying three-run homer.
- Next inning, nearly the same thing happens. The Astros were down three runs again when Altuve squared up a pitch from Kenta Maeda and sent it out of the park to left center field for the second three-run score-tying home run in as many innings.
- George Springer made a poor play in center field, turning a single into an RBI triple for Cody Bellinger, which put the Dodgers in front 8-7. Springer led off the bottom of the seventh with a towering home run on the first pitch from Brandon Morrow that hit the train tracks in left center field. For about the 10th time in the game, the crowd at Minute Maid Park erupted.
- With the score tied 12-12 in the 10th inning and Derek Fisher on second base as pinch-runner for Brian McCann, Alex Bregman hit a single over the shortstop and Fisher took off. He dashed around third base and scored easily ahead of the throw from left fielder Andre Ethier to give the Astros the thrilling 13-12 win and a 3-2 series advantage.
2017 WS Game 7 vs Dodgers
- Charlie Morton finished off his brilliant four-inning performance in relief of Brad Peacock by retiring the final 11 batters he faced, including the never-to-be-forgotten groundout from Corey Seager. Altuve to Gurriel and the celebration was on. The Astros win their first ever World Series.
Some might argue that Altuve's two-run shot off Aroldis Chapman to end the Yankees season for the second time in three seasons and propel the Astros into the World Series for the second time in three seasons, should rank among the top five Astros postseason moments. Maybe, but ahead of which other great World Series moments listed above, if any?
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