Fred Faour: As always, the Astros have their moments, and it results in a 2-0 lead in the ALCS

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock (13481986ai) Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, right, celebrates his solo homer during the third inning in Game 2 of baseball’s American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, in Houston ALCS Yankees Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 20 Oct 2022

Fred Faour: As always, the Astros have their moments, and it results in a 2-0 lead in the ALCS

The playoffs are about coming up big in the moment. The Astros have done it so much, we take it for granted. They did again in Game 2 of the ALCS, clinging to a 3-2 win to take a 2-0 series lead over the New York Yankees with winning moment after moment.

How did they do it?

The biggest moment.

Alex Bregman, with two outs, two on and two strikes in the bottom of the third, blasted one into the Crawford Boxes to give the Astros a 3-0 lead. The Yankees then did what you need to do to beat the Astros – they scored two runs on one hit and a lot of weak contact thanks to Framber Valdez’s two errors on one play. It was a good moment. But not enough. Other than that? Valdez was flawless, with seven innings, four hits and nine strikeouts. But Bregman gave them the edge.

Another big moment.

Valdez striking out the side in the seventh, setting up the bullpen to close it out. One curve ball after another. The Yankees were flailing. They went out meekly and the Astros moved on to the relievers.

The scary part of all of this? The Astros are having their moments. They always do in the postseason. But they can be so much better.

Jose Altuve can’t buy a hit. Since his heroics against the Mariners, Yordan Alvarez has been almost invisible. Even after getting on base in the eighth, he got picked off. But it didn’t matter.

Because they have such a strong pitching staff, the Astros are up 2-0 in the series.

Thanks to those moments.

The Yankees had their own. Gleyber Torres robbed Altuve in the seventh and pulled off an improbable double play. Again, it wasn’t enough, because when it comes to playoff moments, the Astros just have more.

The Judge/Stanton moment

Aaron Judge, the best hitter in baseball all season, came up in the eighth inning and blasted one deep to right. If the ball makes it out, the Yankees take a 4-3 lead. Instead, Kyle Tucker made a great play, keeping the game at 3-2. Bryan Abreu then struck out Giancarlo Stanton to end the threat.

The final moments

Ryan Pressly, one day after a four-out save, was called on to close it out again. First, he had to face Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees’ hottest hitter. Pressley struck him out. Then he struck out Torres. He walked Josh Donaldson, but struck out Matt Carpenter to close out the game.

This is what the Astros do – come up big in the moment. The Yankees head home in an 0-2 hole, still confident because they have former Astros star Gerrit Cole ready to start Game 3. But the Astros have Lance McCullers or Cristian Javier – players who do not shy away from the moment.

The playoffs have had so many great moments for the Astros so far. Whoever wins this series will have the most.

Don’t bet against these Astros. Because they keep doing it again and again. Just like they did Thursday night.

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