Yesterday, the monumental Yordan Alvarez grand slam was scorched at an incredible 116 miles per hour. Trailing early in the top of the third, Alvarez wasted no time depositing the first pitch into the stands to tie the game at 4 a piece. As Minnesota Twins starter Joe Ryan quickly learned, throwing 91miles per hour down the middle of the plate is not advised when pitching against one of the best hitters in baseball. Fortunately, for the Twins, the Yordan Alvarez grand slam wasn’t enough to stop them from holding on to a thrilling 9-6 victory.
The Hot and Cold Start
In the early part of the season, it appears that Houston’s designated hitter and part time outfielder has not missed a step from his historic season last year. While the Yordan Alvarez grand slam gives the slugger his third home run of the year, his on-base percentage of .400 and batting average of .310 has made him one of the best hitters in the early stages of the 2023 MLB season.
With the Astros struggling a bit with Alex Bregman’s slow start and the injuries to Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley, Alvarez, along with Kyle Tucker, finds himself shouldering a good amount of the defending World Series champion’s offense. With a 3-6 record, the team finds themselves looking up at the Los Angeles Angles by 2.5 games in a much improved division.
With the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers both currently holding spots ahead of the Astros, the team has some work to do to defending their crown. With the Alvarez grand slam being wasted in a losing effort, the question remains if Alvarez is enough to hold off the AL West rivals.
Yordan Alvarez Grand Slams
The Yordan Alvarez grand slam joins a couple of other bases loaded home runs for the Astros slugger. Back in 2019, in the midst of a strong rookie season, Alvarez found himself up with the bases loaded against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, at Oriole Park in Camden Yards. With the Astros holding on to a “close” 17-1 lead in the top of the 7th, the first Yordan Alvarez grand slam pushed the Astros lead to an insurmountable 20 runs.
The second Yordan Alvarez grand slam came a few years later in 2021, when the Astros found themselves ahead 8-2 over the Detroit Tigers, when he crushed a Bryan Garcia pitch. Interestingly enough, Garcia is now a member of the Astros minor league organization, a place where an Alvarez grand slam can no longer hurt him.
While this was the third Yordan Alvarez grand slam, it likely won’t be the last. The fearsome power hitter is always a threat and giving him the opportunity to hit with the bases loaded doesn’t appear to be a winning strategy. As a hitter, Alvarez finds himself in the same tier as Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge, as the most fear inducing batters in the American League.
While this might have been Yordan’s first grand slam in a losing effort, the Astros will likely find themselves competing for another World Series come this October. While the Astros might have a few holes as they wait for Bregman to heat up and for Altuve to return, they remain one of the most dangerous teams in baseball.
While this Alvarez grand slam might have been the first hit in a losing effort, the Astros as a team aren’t used to losing many games. As one of the winningest teams in baseball over the last decade, the Astros, and Yordan, remain to be feared.
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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images