The Houston Astros are still on the brink of being eliminated from the postseason, but in Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, shortstop Carlos Correa kept the American League Championship Series interesting with a walk-off home run.
Correa’s solo shot off Nick Anderson in the ninth was his second of the series. But it was the moment leading up to that home run that was more dramatic.
Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters that Correa predicted he was going to hit the game-winning homer, according to MLB.com.
“Carlos told me before he went up there, he goes: ‘Walk-off,’” Baker said. “I said, ‘Go ahead on, man.’”
Correa confirmed as much when he talked to the media.
“I knew I was going to end it,” he said. “I could feel my swing was in sync. I could feel my rhythm was good, and I felt like I was going to drive the ball. I believed I could do it.”
In the grand scheme of the game itself, Correa’s home run marked the first time that a team had led off with a home run and ended with a home run. George Springer hit a home run in the first inning to get Houston off on the right foot.
“Any time you score right away, especially on that first pitch, you know Springer’s the king of that,” Baker said. “I haven’t been around anybody better at doing that.”
Tampa Bay will hope to close out the series Friday. If the Astros win, they could be looking at even more history.