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Carlos Correa hits walk-off home run in 11th inning as Astros win 3-2 in ALCS Game 2

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Offense was hard to come by on Sunday night in Houston. Carlos Correa opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a ground ball double down the left field line off of James Paxton. The Yankees answered back in the top of the fourth when Aaron Judge creamed a hanging slider from Justin Verlander over the fence in right-center field. George Springer tied the game at two apiece with a no-doubt solo homer to left-center on the first pitch he saw from Adam Ottavino, who had just entered the game. That was it until the bottom of the 11th inning.

Verlander finished the night allowing the two runs on five hits and a pair of walks with seven strikeouts across 6 2/3 innings. Paxton lasted just 2 1/3 innings, yielding the lone run on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Ottavino aside, the Yankees’ bullpen was incredible, holding the Astros scoreless otherwise. After Roberto Osuna got five outs to keep the game tied, Aroldis Chapman worked around a walk with three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

The two sides kept each other off the board in the 10th. Joe Smith worked the top of the 10th for the Astros while CC Sabathia, Jonathan Loaisiga, and J.A. Happ were called on in the bottom half.

Smith remained in the game for the top of the 11th, getting two quick outs before issuing a walk, spelling the end of his stint. Ryan Pressly entered, gave up a single to Brett Gardner, then manager A.J. Hinch took him out, too. Josh James finally struck out Gary Sánchez to end what was a controversial at-bat. Sánchez appeared to swing and miss on pitch No. 9 for strike three, but home plate umpire Cory Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the pitch, giving him new life. James fired back with a fastball a couple inches off the plate that Blaser generously called strike three, ending the inning.

Yankees skipper Aaron Boone had the lefty Happ start the bottom of the 11th, which backfired immediately. Happ’s first pitch to Carlos Correa was a high 94 MPH fastball, which Correa promptly swatted to the opposite field for a walk-off solo home run, ending a thrilling game. Astros win 3-2, evening up the ALCS at one game apiece.

The two clubs will take Monday off to travel to the Bronx. Game 3 of the ALCS will take place on Tuesday afternoon with a 4:08 PM ET first pitch. Gerrit Cole will face Luis Severino in what a must-watch match-up.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.