LOS ANGELES -- Jose Altuve was still enjoying the spoils of his own homer, a go-ahead, 10th-inning shot, when he heard the ball crack off Carlos Correa's bat. Altuve watched from the dugout as Correa took a skip and a step toward first base, heaving his bat away with two
LOS ANGELES -- Jose Altuve was still enjoying the spoils of his own homer, a go-ahead, 10th-inning shot, when he heard the ball crack off Carlos Correa's bat. Altuve watched from the dugout as Correa took a skip and a step toward first base, heaving his bat away with two hands once he realized the ball was gone.
Then Altuve sprinted back out to the field to thump Correa on the chest in celebration. The teammates' back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning of Game 2 wound up being footnotes in a wild game that the Astros won, 7-6, in 11 innings, tying the World Series at a game apiece.
:: World Series presented by YouTube TV: Schedule and coverage ::
But the two provided continued evidence that Major League Baseball's best offense is back in business.
"We play with a lot of swagger," Correa said, "and let them know we're here."
• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear
Correa certainly did so with his bat flip -- a forceful, two-handed toss that drew the Dodgers' attention. At the time, that homer gave the Astros a two-run lead, after Altuve's shot had made it 4-3.
"I loved it," said Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, something of a bat-flip connoisseur. "It was a little bit higher than the bat flips I normally do, but he was happy and that's the way you should play in the World Series. Not everybody gets to play in a place like this, so it's good. It's good that he plays like that and it's good that Latino players are able to contribute."
• Astros notch first World Series win
"Correa put a good swing on it and he does what he does," added Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "I'm not too concerned about that."
More concerning to Roberts and the Dodgers was the revitalization of Houston's offense.
Given the Astros' mid-October slump, it would have been easy to forget that they led the Majors in runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage this season, and were at or near the top of baseball in most other offensive categories. But in their last eight postseason games entering Wednesday, the Astros averaged just 2.6 runs per night.
Altuve in particular was riding a 4-for-25 funk when he stepped to the plate in the 10th inning, redirecting a 97-mph Josh Fields fastball over the left-field fence. Afterward, the American League MVP Award candidate said he "forgot about" his earlier struggles in the throes of extra-inning madness.
"I kind of expect him to do stuff like that," Correa said. "That homer he hit, it was a game-changer right there, even for me. He changed my at-bat completely. I'm so pumped, I'm going out there, I'm focused, I'm trying to do the best for the team."
If this means a return to normalcy for baseball's best offense, the Astros are thrilled to embrace it. Correa said he could only recall flipping his bat one other time this year, during the World Baseball Classic in March. Not that he couldn't get used to this sort of thing.
"Like a friend of mine once said, I don't know why my bats are so slippery," Correa said, laughing. "I was just caught up in the emotion. It was a lot of fun. It was just a fun game."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.