From CSNWashington.com, we learn that Bryce Harper does not wake up each morning and check the standings. From the scene of last night’s playoff-clinching celebration:
“Everyone started going crazy and I looked at the fireworks and said ‘I guess we just did something.’ Someone handed me a playoff hat and a playoff shirt and I said ‘I guess we are going to the playoffs … I had no clue. I had no idea,” he said. When the guy handed me this shirt, he just handed it to me and I was wondering what it was and it said ‘playoffs.’ I was just wondering like, ‘what happened?’ I guess we clinched a playoff berth.”
For what it’s worth, I can’t remember what was going on in my head when I was 19 so I can’t sit here and judge.
It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.
Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:
He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.
Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”
During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.