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Bregman 'sorry' for carrying bat to 1st on homer

@alysonfooter
October 30, 2019

HOUSTON -- Nothing surprising emerged from the Astros' half of the first inning of their 7-2 loss in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, except maybe that it took so few pitches from Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg before Houston pounced.

HOUSTON -- Nothing surprising emerged from the Astros' half of the first inning of their 7-2 loss in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, except maybe that it took so few pitches from Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg before Houston pounced.

It wasn’t surprising that Alex Bregman once again homered off an All-Star pitcher in Strasburg, which he has made a habit of, going deep off eight different All-Stars in the postseason in his career. In fact, the biggest shock of the inning might have been the new kind of bat flip -- or lack of a flip -- that Bregman introduced on his solo blast that capped the two-run frame. He carried his bat with him all the way to first base and handed it off to unsuspecting first-base coach Don Kelly before finishing his trip around the diamond.

After the loss, Bregman said he got caught up in the heat of the moment, and manager AJ Hinch said neither Bregman nor Juan Soto -- who did the same thing on his own home run in the fifth inning -- should have celebrated that way.

"Yeah, he shouldn't carry the bat past first base," Hinch said. "Soto shouldn't carry it to first base, either."

"I let my emotions get the best of me," Bregman said. "I'm sorry for doing that."

Bregman’s 355-foot homer to left gave the Astros a 2-1 lead, and it was the 10th homer of his postseason career and his fourth this October.

George Springer got the Astros started, ripping a first-pitch fastball off the left-field wall. It's not news that he crushes fastballs, so the fact that he swung at the first one he saw, on the first pitch of the inning, and connected for a double was hardly shocking. Springer slugged .673 against fastballs during the regular season, tied for fourth best of 135 hitters with at least 250 at-bats ending on heaters. Springer taking third on a Strasburg wild pitch? Also not surprising, given what an aggressive baserunner he is. And José Altuve driving him in with a sac fly deep to left? Just following a playbook that has helped Houston dozens of times this year.

The Astros will have to wait another day to try to capture their second World Series title in three seasons when they duel the Nats in an all-or-nothing Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.