The Astros are running through the Seattle Mariners like a knife through butter thanks to the Hall of Fame managerial prowess of Dusty Baker and the emergence of a certain 25-year-old Cuban missile launcher.

Baker’s Boys look ready to put this series to bed early, rest up and wait for the Yankees and Cleveland to slug it out. The Astros lead the best-of-5 American League Division Series 2-0 over Seattle after Thursday’s 4-2 win at Minute Maid Park.

Game 3 is set for Saturday afternoon in Seattle, the first playoff game the Emerald City has hosted since 2001.

The Astros won Game 2 despite collecting just six hits in a pitchers’ duel, where Baker continues to make all of the right moves while Seattle’s novice manager Scott Servais, in his seventh season at the helm and managing in his first playoffs, has failed to be as shrewd as the living legend manning the Astros bench.

It also helps for Dusty to have a superstar slugger like Yordan Alvarez to blast balls into orbit at the most clutch times.  Alvarez — fresh off his wild walkoff homer in Game 1 — provided another huge hit, a two-run homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field. That opposite-field blast with two outs in the sixth inning off Mariners starter Luis Castillo put the Astros ahead for good, 3-2.



The 2019 American League Rookie of the Year finished the season third in the AL in homers behind Mike Trout (40) and Aaron Judge (62). Baker has coached a trailer load of Hall of Famers and All-Stars and clutch performers in his 30 years as a manager. The 73-year-old MLBbro icon has 2,093 career wins to show for it. Baker’s had the pleasure of managing Barry Bonds, when MLB’s home run king was posting video game numbers, so he’s not going to give a player a nickname or be impressed unless that player made an impact that is rare and historically noteworthy.

“I call him Grande,” Baker said, referring to Alvarez “He comes up big. We love having him at the plate. He likes to be in the big moment. His concentration and discipline is way ahead of his years.”



Houston is desperately trying to get back to the World Series after the Atlanta Braves upset them and thwarted Dusty’s World Series dreams in 2021. This Houston team has better pitching led by a Hall of Fame arm in Justin Verlander, and a secret weapon who is choosing the perfect stage to establish his booming presence as a rising superstar in the game. Dusty hasn’t had a power threat of this caliber at his disposal since Bonds and he hasn’t had a team this potent (106 regular season wins) maybe ever. This is just the second time that Dusty has navigated a squad to more than 100 wins. He had 103 in 1993, his rookie season in San Francisco.


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