The Houston Astros just reached their second World Series in franchise history, and they have Alex Bregman’s arm in part to thank.
The Astros were clinging to a one-run lead over the Yankees on Saturday in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series when New York mounted a scoring threat in the fifth inning. With runners on first and third and one out, Yankees batter Todd Frazier hit a chopper to Bregman down the third base line that looked like it would score Greg Bird from third.
But Bregman had other plans, firing a bullet to catcher Brian McCann to nab Bird at the plate and keep New York off the board.
It was a risky play by Bregman, as the throw needed to be absolutely perfect to get Bird. But the 23-year-old rookie didn’t hesitate for a second, displaying incredible confidence, awareness and skill to put the throw essentially right on Bird’s foot without the slightest hesitation.
So, how did Bregman know to come home? Turns out he learned his lesson from another contest.
“We had a play earlier in the year, about 10 games before the end of the regular season, and I tried to turn a double play, and the run scored,” Bregman said after the game, via the Houston Chronicle. “So, before the pitch, I was already ready where if it was hit softly, I was going to throw the guy out at the plate, and if it was hit hard, I was going to turn the double play.
The talented rookie then busted out a great NFL comparison.
“As soon as it was hit, I thought, ‘Hey, you better put this on the cash,’ and I pulled out the inner Peyton Manning and threw a dime,” Bregman added.
Put it on the cash, he did.
That inning proved to be the Yankees’ best scoring chance, as the Astros held on for a 4-0 victory to punch their ticket to the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images