The Astros and Giants had seemingly opposite seasons in 2017. While the Astros won their first World Series title in franchise history, the Giants put together a historically bad season with a 64-98 record.
Of all the Astros, José Altuve enjoyed the greatest season of them all. And one Giant can relate to the 5-foot-6 slugger.
Altuve became just the eighth player in Major League Baseball history to win a batting title, MVP and World Series all in the same year. The last to do so was Buster Posey in 2012, the second of his three titles with the Giants.
In 2012, Posey hit .336 to win the batting title. He then received 422 voting points to edge out Ryan Braun (285) to win the National League MVP.
Altuve hit 10 points higher than Posey at .346 to win the 2017 batting title. But, Altuve received less voting points (405) than Posey to beat rookie Aaron Judge (279).
LOS ANGELES — The Giants and Dodgers have scratched and clawed for every advantage in this series. For a few seconds Tuesday night, they even exchanged shoves and one ill-advised slap.
Nick Hundley and Yasiel Puig cleared the benches and bullpens with a brief shoving match in the seventh, and neither was around for the end of this one. From the visiting clubhouse, Hundley watched Alen Hanson drive Brandon Belt in with two outs in the top of the ninth, giving the Giants a 2-1 win. They have taken both games of this series.
This one was tense throughout, but in the end the Giants got a bit closer in a jumbled NL West. They picked up another game on the Dodgers, who now sit in third place, just three games ahead of the Giants. Here are the details …
—- The benches cleared with two outs in the seventh. Puig fouled a pitch off and reacted with disgust, and it appeared Hundley said something to him. Puig and Hundley exchanged words and Puig shoved Hundley a couple of times before players from both sides rushed in to break it up. Puig rushed back at Hundley and got one shot to his mask before getting pulled away for good.
—- Andrew Suarez had his best start in more than a month, throwing six shutout innings. He allowed just two hits, although several lasers found gloves. Suarez struck out four, with the payoff pitch coming on a fastball each time.
—- The Giants have had a rough go against Alex Wood this year, but they did a good job of knocking him out early-ish. Wood gave up a run in the second on Alen Hanson’s single with two on but otherwise was sharp. But he was done after five, having thrown 92 pitches.
—- When Hundley was ejected, Buster Posey moved behind the plate and Belt returned from the DL in a very odd way. Belt singled up the middle in his first at-bat back and scored the winning run.
LOS ANGELES — The Brandons were both at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, but neither one was in the lineup for the second game of a series with the Dodgers.
Brandon Crawford was doing much better a day after going in the concussion protocol and avoided a trip to the disabled list, but the Giants wanted to give him a full day off to recover. Brandon Belt was activated after missing 17 games with a hyperextended knee, but Bruce Bochy went with Buster Posey at first base and Nick Hundley, Monday’s star, behind the plate.
Belt is expected to return to his everyday role as soon as Wednesday, with Austin Slater sliding over to left. As for Crawford, the Giants are being cautious, and with another day off on Thursday, they can stretch this out a bit. They did get good news, though, as Crawford was able to go through a full pre-game workout Tuesday with no apparent issues. He took BP on the field with his teammates.
“He’s feeling a lot better,” Bochy said. “We’re still not going to play him (tonight).”
Crawford ran into Gorkys Hernandez on Monday as the two chased a pop-up down the left field line. Hernandez stayed in the game and was feeling fine Tuesday.
To clear a roster spot for Belt, the Giants optioned right-hander Pierce Johnson back to Triple-A Sacramento.