Carlos Correa Crushes Walk-Off HR as Astros Force ALCS Game 6 vs. Rays

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2020

Players celebrate Houston Astros Carlos Correa's (1) walk off home run during the ninth inning in Game 5 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in San Diego. The Astros defeated the Rays 4-3 and the Rays lead the series 3-2 games. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Carlos Correa isn't ready to go home just yet. 

The Houston Astros slugger blasted a walk-off homer to dead center in the bottom of the ninth to seal a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. Suddenly, Houston's 3-0 deficit in this series has shrunk to 3-2.

We've got ourselves a series, folks. 

Houston had plenty of other heroes Thursday. George Springer led off the game with a solo home run, while Michael Brantley's two-run single in the third proved key. Seven pitchers combined to largely stifle the Rays in an impressive showing from the bullpen.

Brandon Lowe, postseason phenomenon Randy Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi accounted for all of Tampa's runs with solo homers. 

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But it wasn't enough. A reverse sweep is on the table. The experienced Astros aren't going down without a fight. 

                 

Key Stats

Carlos Correa, HOU: 1-for-4, one homer

George Springer, HOU: 1-for-4, one homer

Michael Brantley, HOU: 1-for-4, two RBI

Randy Arozarena, TB: 1-for-5, one homer

Brandon Lowe, TB: 1-for-5, one homer

Ji-Man Choi, TB: 2-for-2, two walks, one homer

                    

George Springer, The Modern Mr. October

Correa may be Thursday's hero, but time and time again, Springer has come up big for the Astros in the postseason, both this year and throughout his career. He is now tied for fourth in MLB history with 19 playoff home runs, tying him with Albert Pujols:

Yes, Springer passed the original Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, along with his teammate Jose Altuve and Mickey Mantle. Jackson and Mantle are Hall of Famers. Altuve will probably be a Hall of Famer as well when all is said and done.  

Up next for Springer: Derek Jeter (20 career postseason homers), Bernie Williams (22) and Manny Ramirez (29). The way he's going, he'll likely catch Jeter and Williams as long as he returns to the postseason (remember, he's a free agent after the season). Ramirez will be a taller task. 

                

Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Legend

The 25-year-old Arozarena is arguably having the best postseason in the history of the Rays franchise. Just look at some of the marks he's posted:

Oh, and he's not just making an impact at the plate, either:

There have been plenty of great storylines this postseason. None, without question, have been better than the emergence of Arozarena, who has nearly equaled his eight career home runs from the regular season in just 16 postseason games. 

Legend. Absolute legend.

                   

What's Next? 

Game 6 is scheduled for Friday at 6:07 p.m. ET on TBS. The starting pitchers have yet to be announced.