Baker compares Alvarez to Barry Bonds after latest game-winning heroics

By Sports Desk October 14, 2022

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Yordan Alvarez to Barry Bonds following his latest game-winning heroics in their 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners in Game 2 of the ALDS on Thursday.

Alvarez blasted a two-run go-ahead homer in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park, coming after his walk-off blast in Tuesday's 8-7 rally to beat the Mariners.

The slugger's heroics have helped the Astros to a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, having gone four-for-eight with two homers and seven RBIs this series. Alvarez became the first player in postseason history with multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was behind.

Baker, who coached Bonds for a decade at the San Francisco Giants, compared Alvarez to the seven-time National League MVP.

"You don’t go to the bathroom [when he is at bat]," Baker told reporters. "You wait. You hold it until after he hits. It was the same way with Barry Bonds. You don’t talk to anybody. You just pay attention. We've got the same anticipation."

The Mariners understandably opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning when trailing 3-2, but that allowed Jordan Pena to shuffle to second base. Alex Bregman proceeded to line to right-field, with Pena adding a fourth run on Mitch Haniger's arm.

"That was some Barry Bonds-type stuff there," Baker added. "I mean, that's the ultimate respect. I've seen that a bunch of times, but not in a long time since Barry Bonds.

"Bregman rises to the occasion, too. That's why I have Bregman hitting behind Yordan, because all you need in that situation is a base hit."

Mariners manager Scott Servais' decision to intentionally walk Alvarez came down to his form in this series.

"Obviously, he has done some damage against us in this series," Servais said. "He's hot right now. You've got to recognize that.

"I think you kind of game plan in how you want to go through their lineup and the guys you want to be careful with."

Thursday's loss marks the second time the Mariners, making their first postseason appearance in 21 years, have let a lead slip in the ALDS.

"You've got to finish it out, no question," Servais said. "It's difficult to do that on the road in the playoffs. You've got to make the pitches, you've got to make the plays. You've got to give the other team credit if they're able to come back."

The Astros have a 6-1 franchise series record when taking a 2-0 lead in the postseason, with their lone loss coming in 1981 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston will secure their sixth straight AL Championship Series berth with victory in Seattle in Game 3 on Saturday.

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