HOUSTON -- José Altuve could've given up.Down one run in the top of the sixth inning of Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Mariners, the All-Star second baseman and MVP candidate could've called it quits after his wrist bent awkwardly into the grass as he dove for a single.Altuve was
HOUSTON -- José Altuve could've given up.
Down one run in the top of the sixth inning of Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Mariners, the All-Star second baseman and MVP candidate could've called it quits after his wrist bent awkwardly into the grass as he dove for a single.
Altuve was obviously in pain, so much so that he slammed his glove to the ground in an act of frustration. Heck, his hand even went numb.
"It was scary when he rolled up on his wrist," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
But that's not Altuve's style. Not with a postseason spot still on the line for the Astros, who, with five games left in their regular season, enter Tuesday 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second American League Wild Card spot.
"No chance," Altuve said when asked if he thought about leaving the game. "Not at this point [in the season]."
Instead, Altuve stayed in the game and made just as much of an impact as he typically has during his impressive 2016 campaign, during which he's registered a Major League-leading 210 hits and .338 batting average.
It didn't even take that long for Altuve to bounce back -- he singled in the following half-inning.
"After that," he said, "I felt great."
And with the Astros in need of a late comeback, trailing, 3-1, in the bottom of the ninth, Altuve stepped up again. He drove home the first of Houston's two runs during a ninth-inning rally on an RBI fielder's choice. He then stole second and eventually scored the tying run on a Carlos Correa single.
"He's the guy," Altuve said of Correa. "It seems like those situations chase him, and he executes."
Altuve and Correa became the first second base-shortstop combo in the American League to each post 95 RBIs in the same season since Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens did so for the Red Sox in 1950.
But Altuve wasn't done. After Robinson Canó homered the eventual game-winner in the top of the 11th, Altuve added another hit, singling on a line drive to center field in the bottom of the frame.
Altuve was still fighting.
"Like I've said before and I've said this a hundred times, this is the team we are," Altuve said. "If we're going to win a game or we're going to lose a game, it's going to be this way -- the way we did it today."
Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.