Houston Astros: Jose Altuve found redemption in postseason

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrates an RBI double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrates an RBI double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Jose Altuve was one of the faces of AstroGate for a majority of baseball fans. The Houston Astros second baseman found redemption in the postseason.

The Houston Astros relatively light punishment in the wake of AstroGate irked baseball fans across the country. It was felt that the team got off lightly, with only a fine and the loss of draft picks. Yes, the manager and general manager were fired, but none of the players faced any discipline.

When the players refused to accept any responsibility, or show remorse for their actions, the outrage against the Astros grew even further. Fans delighted in their struggles during the season, especially as those one time stars seemingly collapsed before our eyes.

Whether rightly or not, second baseman Jose Altuve became the target of that ire. He completely collapsed at the plate in 2020, posting a career worst .219/.286/.344 batting line with just five homers and nine doubles. While virtually the entire lineup saw their numbers decrease in 2020, Altuve essentially cratered.

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It did not get any better against the Twins. While the Astros were able to notch a sweep and advance beyond the Wild Card round, Altuve did virtually nothing. He did record an RBI and had two walks in his nine plate appearances, but he failed to notch a single hit. The nightmare season continued.

That changed beginning in the ALDS. Over the final two rounds of the playoffs, Altuve looked like himself once again, notching 18 hits in his 51 plate appearances, drawing nine walks with just eight strikeouts. He began hitting for power again as well, with five homers and two doubles in that span.

The 2020 season was an oddity – the delayed start, rushed through summer camp, and pauses due to positive COVID tests led to some strange statistical lines. Altuve was not the only star to completely tank this year, as the likes of Christian Yelich and Kris Bryant also took major steps backward. But Altuve’s struggles were magnified due to AstroGate and questions as to the legitimacy of the Astros accomplishments over the past three years.

Next. Astros improbable run comes to an end. dark

Jose Altuve came to life in the playoffs for the Houston Astros. That performance may have been the redemption that he needed.