#3 Evan Carter's catch and Jose Altuve's blunder
The third play on this list is you guessed it a defensive play. This one was not just an outstanding defensive play it is also a baserunning blunder in a critical part of the game. This occured in game one of the ALCS against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The park that has the quirky left field with the giant wall and a cutout the juts into deep left center field. Evan Carter started game one in his first game ever in that stadium. It is a tricky left field for even the most veteran players. Carter said he received tips from Robbie Grossman and Travis Jankowski on how to play balls off the wall and where to be positioned to make a play in that deep left center wall.
He played spectacular in left field throughout game one. He had catch at the wall early on and he made a fantastic catch running into foul territory in that game. Nothing compared to what happened in the eighth inning of game one. Texas was up 2-0 with Chapman on the mound. He was trying to get through the eighth to get the game to Leclerc in the ninth. He started off again with a lead off walk of Jose Altuve. That brought Alex Bregman to the plate. Chapman went 2-1 against Bregman. Then on the fourth pitch Bregman hit a slider that was down and away all the way to the wall in deep left center field. Carter went around the giant wall and got to the deeper wall in time to jump up and,
Carter made the catch. Unbeknownst to him though while that was happening Altuve had made his way all the way to second base trying to score the first run of the game for Houston. Had Carter not made the catch Altuve would have easily scored. Altuve took one step on second base and then took a step on the third base side of the bag. When Carter made the catch Altuve took his next step back toward first but did not retouch second. Semien and Jung noticed immediately. Carter relayed the ball back in and Semien emphatically stepped on second. The ump ruled him safe, but upon replay review Altuve was called out. Chapman then got Alvarez to ground out to end the inning. Leclerc was then able to close it out in the ninth giving Texas a 1-0 series lead.
That play just showed off the athleticism of Evan Carter and how spectacular of a defender he is, but also displayed the baseball IQ of Marcus Semien to be on the lookout for that. Instead of having to face Alvarez with the tying run on first and one out, Chapman got to face him with two outs and no one on base. It was a decisive play in another close game and showed that Texas does have the ability to win close games.