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José Altuve homers, Luis Severino throws 36 pitches in long first inning in ALCS Game 3

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Game 3 of the ALCS wasn’t even five minutes old when José Altuve gave the Astros the lead against Yankees starter Luis Severino. After George Springer grounded out, Altuve swung at a first-pitch slider from Severino, drilling it 420 feet into the bullpen in left-center field at Yankee Stadium.

After Altuve’s homer, Michael Brantley walked on eight pitches and Alex Bregman struck out on 11 pitches. Yuli Gurriel kept the inning alive with an infield single, then Yordan Álvarez walked. At long last, the inning ended when Carlos Correa swung and missed at a fastball for strike three — Severino’s 36th pitch.

With the way Gerrit Cole has been pitching, one run might be enough. Cole has allowed just one run on six hits and three walks with 25 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings across two starts in the postseason thus far. The AL Cy Young Award contender led the league in ERA at 2.50 during the regular season.

Barring some incredible efficiency from Severino going forward, he doesn’t appear long for Tuesday’s start.

Update: Josh Reddick smacked a solo homer of his own, leading off the second inning against Severino. 2-0 ‘stros.

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.