Baseball’s head-to-head MVP showcase, featuring the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Astros’ José Altuve, was lopsided for a little while.
The Yankees lost the first two games of the series, while their offense’s most potent weapon went cold as a nuclear winter.
Aaron Judge suffered through the road games, going 1-for-7 with three strikeouts. Meanwhile, José Altuve was helping the Astros win, with five hits in eight at-bats and one dazzling defensive play after another.
Fans watching the broadcasts who did not regularly follow New York this season weren’t seeing what all the MVP fuss was about with Judge. The telecast stat line showed his eye-popping homer and RBI totals, but all the audience kept witnessing were the whiffs.
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For Judge, though, there’s no place like home. He dominated pitchers at Yankee Stadium, where 35 of his 54 bombs have now been hit, including the postseason. Monday, he lined a three-run homer off Houston’s reliever Will Harris to blow Game 3 open.
The Yanks’ right fielder was also a fly-ball vacuum. He made an impressive jumping catch at the wall in the fourth inning, a diving grab on a sinking liner, and later ran down a blooper dropping into no-man’s land.
Altuve cooled down at the Stadium, where he has one of his worst OPS percentages, having a 1-for-4 night with a “K”.
The MVP voting already took place at season’s end, so it isn’t like Judge or Altuve can sway voters now. What they can do, however, is continue putting on a grand display as they try and help their team advance to the World Series. Can you imagine how epic a game would be when they’re both on their “A” game and being play-makers?