Sunday, January 16, 2022

lvarez returns from double knee surgery to win ALCS MVP

HOUSTON (AP) — Two years after winning the AL Rookie of the Year award, Yordan Alvarez has the AL Championship Series MVP to add to his trophy case.

The 24-year-old Cuban was 4-for-4 with two doubles and triples for the Houston Astros in a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. He drives in the go-forward run and scores second.

After missing last year’s post-season while recovering from double knee surgery, Alvarez scored an ALCS-record .522 (23 for 23) with a homer, three doubles, triples and six RBIs in Houston’s six-game win. 12) hit. He scored seven runs against the Red Sox and received nine hits in his last 13 at-bats, bringing his post-season average to .441 with two homers and nine RBIs.

“I was just focused on getting things done,” he said through a translator.

Alvarez hit every game.

He had an RBI single in the ninth inning of the Astros’ 9-2 win in Game 4, then carried a homer from Chris Sell in the second innings the next night and added two runs, the fourth – Houston made 9-1. Played a double innings to take a three-run lead with the lead.

Alvarez doubled in a run in the first inning on Friday night, then tripled in the sixth and went home alerted from third position before a throw from Kyle Schwarber, who sealed an unassisted double play on Kyle Tucker’s grounder. changed in the first place.

“He’s just the type of player who can single-handedly win you a ballgame,” said Boston’s Xander Bogarts.

Alvarez batted .277 during the season and set a career-best with 33 homers and 104 RBIs, both team highs. He became the second youngest Astros player to reach 100 RBI after Cesar Cedeno in 1974 and the youngest to score 30 home runs.

He joined Jose Altuve (2019) and Justin Verlander (2017) as the Astros won the ALCS MVP after Mike Scott (1986) and Roy Oswalt (2005) and Houston won the NLCS MVP before changing leagues.

Quite a change with Alvarez averaging .241 with one homer and three during the 2019 postseason.

“He hits the ball in the opposite field and it stays straight,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker. “There’s not a piece on it, and everyone knows he can pull the ball, but he has the power on the other side too. He’s only going to get better. … and they put their feet together.” Has worked exceptionally hard. He had surgery on both knees, and we didn’t know how much he would play or how much he would be able to play outfield. It’s a tribute to him, how hard he worked and the strength he built there have continued to work to keep up.”

Alvarez fled Cuba in 2016 and signed with the Dodgers for a $2 million bonus, then the Astros were traded in August for right-hander Josh Fields, who last pitched in Triple-A in 2019 .

He made his debut in June 2019 and hit .313 in 87 games with 27 homers and 78 RBIs, earning top AL rookie honors. But his 2020 season started on the injured list related to COVID-19 and ended after two matches. He had surgery on August 19 to repair a partially torn right patellar tendon and a cleaning procedure on his left knee.

Alvarez returned this season and signed a $609,000 deal. Two years, 113 days of service time, if the rules don’t change, is expected to fall short of arbitration eligibility this winter.

“At this time last year, we didn’t have Alvarez, and we came close to going into the series,” Baker said. “We now have Alvarez, and we are very grateful and grateful that we have him.”


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