HOUSTON – Known for his dominant postseason performances, Carlos Correa left his mark in each of the Twins’ four postseason games this month.
In the first game of the wild-card round, his single pitch ended up being an out. In Game 2 against Toronto, he was the mastermind behind a key catch-and-goal play that got Sonny Gray out of trouble. He had five hits, three doubles and three RBIs in eight at-bats over the first two games of the American League Division Series in Houston against his old team.
When the Twins return to Minnesota for Game 3 of the ALDS (Tuesday at 3:07 p.m.), Correa’s teammates say it’s not just about all the big games. His presence had just as much impact on their success.
“A lot of guys in our club probably don’t have the most playoff experience and these big games, big moments,” Pablo Lowe said during the Twins’ 6-2 win on Sunday at Minute Maid. Pace pitched seven scoreless innings. garden. “He’s an incredible source of information like this. He holds you accountable. He keeps you honest.”
The Twins don’t view Sunday’s game as a do-or-die affair, but they know that falling behind 2-0 in a best-of-five series against the defending World Series champions will Got into big trouble.
Correa, like everyone else, knows the importance of Sunday’s second game. He had an RBI double in the first inning a day after he said it was crucial for the Twins to give Lopez an early lead. Then, when he saw Lopez between innings, he offered the suggestion.
“He kept telling me, ‘Think of it like a 0-0 game. Every play you get closer,'” Lopez said. “There’s a lot of things that no one sees that he does. He keeps you on offense. He keeps you in the game. You see what it takes to be in the game to keep everybody in that shape. Carlos Correa As a leader, as a player and as a teammate, he’s the best.”
The Twins remain interested in Correa after offseason deals with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets fell through due to concerns about his physical. They were comfortable with the six-year, $200 million deal, the largest free agent signing in franchise history, because they knew the intangibles Correa brought to the team.
“Carlos is a special person. He has a special gift for his mind. He gives us cues in every situation. … He thinks a lot. He lives for this.”
After Houston won Game 2, Correa sat in front of reporters at the postgame podium and all but sounded a warning about what the future holds for the Twins.
“I know what happens when they lose a game,” said Correa, who played seven seasons with the Astros. “I’ve been on the other side. I know the speeches, the meetings, everything that goes on. They’ll be ready for the next game. And so will we.”
Correa missed the final two weeks of the regular season due to aggravation of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He spent two weeks preparing for the playoffs.
Whether he’s running on wild pitches and making smart outs (as he did in Game 1 against the Astros) or providing teammates with scouting reports on pitchers, he’ll find ways to get them. A way to be in the midst of everything.
“Carlos has seen these (pitchers) a lot of times,” said Kyle Farmer, who hit a two-run homer off Franber Valdez on Sunday. “You asked him about his approach and that’s what we did (Sunday). He came up with a good approach for us and we got it done.”
Donovan Solano added: “Playoffs, I feel like I’m seeing another Carlos. He’s ready for these moments. It motivates us, like we can do something special this year. , something we will remember for the rest of our lives.”
When Correa loaded the bases in the fifth inning on Sunday, he knew exactly how Valdez and catcher Martin Maldonado wanted to attack him. Correa hit a low sinker (one below the strike zone) into center field for a two-run single.
“Carlos is a special person,” Solano said. “He has a special gift for thinking. He gives us tips in every situation. Even against Sonny, he was ready. He thought a lot. He was born for this.”