Size doesn’t matter.
The American League’s top two players during the regular season – Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge, both in contention for the AL MVP award – squared off in the ALCS opener Friday where the diminutive Astros second baseman prevailed in the pair’s first postseason meeting in which Houston was victorious 2-1.
Friday night’s final lines
Altuve not only broke up Masahiro Tanaka‘s no-hitter in the fourth inning, he also stole a base, came around to score the eventual game-winning run, and made a sparkling defensive play a half inning earlier to rob Didi Gregorius of a hit.
Judge, on the other hand, wasn’t too bad. He reached base twice and was close to recording an RBI when he nearly drove Greg Bird in with a sharp line drive in the fifth inning. Bird ended up being thrown out at the plate by Marwin Gonzalez.
Altuve, who pushed his postseason average to .750, may have proclaimed before the contest that Judge would be the regular-season MVP if he had a vote, but on Friday in front of a jam-packed Texas crowd chanting “MVP, MVP” in his honor, Altuve proved he was the better of the two.