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Astros win ALCS Game 2 behind a magnificent Justin Verlander performance and Jose Altuve’s baserunning

They lead the Yankees 2-0 in the series.

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Astros can thank Justin Verlander for being a gosh darn pitching GOD in Game 2.

He went nine full innings and threw 124 pitches, allowing only five hits, one run, one walk, and striking out 13 people. That’s pretty great, and as much as the Astros could have possibly hoped for him to do in his Game 2 start.

The Astros won 2-1 thanks to an exciting, madcap ninth-inning sequence where Carlos Correa doubled off of Aroldis Chapman and Jose Altuve went from first to home even though all logic would indicate that he should not have done that.

@JoseAltuve27. @TeamCJCorrea. Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait. #Walkoff

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The throw actually beat him to the plate, but Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez dropped the ball when it got to him allowing Altuve to score no problem. It was as exciting a finish as there’s been this postseason.

The Yankees’ only run came thanks to a Todd Frazier double that also involved one of the wackiest moments of baseball, when the ball got stuck in a chainlink fence and George Springer couldn’t get to it.

But the star of the show was undoubtedly Verlander, who pitched the 20th postseason game ever where the starter struck out at least 10 Yankees batters. He extended his lead over Cliff Lee, Randy Johnson, and Bob Gibson on the list of pitchers with the most 10-plus strikeout games in postseason history.

Justin Verlander had an INCREDIBLE game!

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Similar to Game 1, when Dallas Keuchel did it to Masahiro Tanaka, Verlander outshone a respectable performance by Luis Severino. Severino left after getting hit in his wrist in the fourth inning, but before that pitched four innings allowing just two hits and two walks, and the only run that scored with him on the mound came from a Carlos Correa home run in the fourth.

Verlander was painting corners and making batters chase balls all game, a rare postseason performance when you can tell the man on the mound has just got it. There was no question that he was under control and fully locked in to the job at hand. Thank goodness the Astros pulled the strings to get him in August.