Astros win 18-inning thriller to advance to sixth consecutive ALCS
Pea’s tiebreaking home run in the 18th inning seals the victory for Seattle, who were swept by 8 pitchers.
The Astros were not too worn out to have fun. Not at all. In the visiting clubhouse at T-Mobile Park, music was blasting, champagne scented the air, and a bunch of puzzled, worn-out, and enthusiastic players attempted to process and appreciate what they had just seen.
Eight Astros pitchers combined to throw 18 scoreless innings, which may be the most in a single game in the history of the team. They were rewarded when rookie shortstop Jeremy Pea produced the biggest hit of his young career. In a thrilling Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Mariners on Saturday, Pea hit a leadoff home run in the 18th inning to give Houston a 1-0 victory.
Carlos Correa, one of the most clutch playoff players in team history, was replaced at shortstop by Pea this season, and he created his own memorable playoff moment. Yordan Alvarez’s go-ahead home runs in Games 1 and 2 in Houston were made possible by Pea’s singles. In the 18th, Pea blasted a 3-2 pitch from reliever Penn Murfee 415 feet into the hazy air and over the wall.
Pea remarked, “I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life.”
The Astros surged over the railing and onto the warning track in front of the dugout as Pea rounded the bases while pumping his fist. Pea is the second rookie in 2022 to homer in extra innings, following Oscar Gonzalez of the Guardians, who did so in Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Series against the Rays. Pea is the third rookie to do so in playoff history.
Alex Bregman, the third baseman, remarked, “Jeremy’s unaffected.” He is a stunner. He is the best. Unbelievable man, unbelievable teammate.
Although the Astros still had three more outs, Luis Garcia, a starter who hadn’t pitched since October 2, tossed a 1-2-3 18th to finish five scoreless innings and end an unbelievable evening. In addition to Garcia, Héctor Neris, Rafael Montero, Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, Ryne Stanek, Hunter Brown, and Lance McCullers Jr. all combined for 12 shutout innings. Lance McCullers Jr. battled a sickness to throw six scoreless innings in his start.
The Astros manager Dusty Baker stated, “Boy, our pitching staff did a heck of a job here.” Dusty Baker is now four victories away from competing for his coveted World Series championship. It’s difficult to keep a player scoreless for so long on both sides, but their defence did a great job, especially tonight against us. This team is good. These people continue to work hard, but eventually we made progress.
The Astros will get three much-needed days off before taking on either the Guardians or the Yankees in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Wednesday in Houston, after 6 hours, 22 minutes, roughly 500 pitches overall, and a tornado of emotions. The only clubs to advance to the LCS in six straight postseasons are the Astros and the Braves (eight in a row).
The Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who will start Game 1 of the ALCS, said, “There’s no complacency on this squad. “No one is ever content. That’s from our leadership team, who have been here ever since we started this.
Bregman, [Jose] Altuve, and McCullers come to mind first, and you can’t help but match their effort with the players who come in after them. As a new player in this organisation, you can’t help but to prepare and arrive every day to win a baseball game the same way those guys do.
The 18-inning contest is tied with Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS, which Chris Burke concluded with a walk-off home run for the Astros against the Braves, for the record for the longest playoff game in Major League history.
The only three rookies to homer in extra innings during the postseason were Burke, Pea, and Gonzalez.