The Houston Astros, led by star shortstop Carlos Correa, advanced into the ALDS on Wednesday after completing their two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins.
Correa hit a two-out, go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning of the Astros’ eventual 3-1 win. It was the Twins’ 18th straight postseason loss, a North American professional sports record.
“I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here. But what are they gonna say now?” Correa said after the victory. “We’re a solid team. We played great baseball. We won a series, on the road, in Minnesota. So what are you gonna say now?”
As a result of winning the Wild Card round, Astros manager Dusty Baker won his first playoff series since 2002, the same year in which he won the NL pennant with the San Francisco Giants.
Baker was hired as the Astros’ manager in late January, replacing AJ Hinch, who was fired in the wake of the club’s sign-stealing scandal after receiving a one-year suspension from Major League Baseball.
The findings from MLB’s investigation into the Astros led to the dismissal of Hinch, as well as Alex Cora, who was most recently the Red Sox’ manager, and Carlos Beltrán, who was hired and then fired as manager of the Mets, all for their role in running Houston’s sign-stealing operation, which continued into the 2018 season.
“‘I feel like on the broadcast yesterday during the game, you guys were too focused on the cheating scandal,” Correa told ESPN Wednesday. “Now that we’ve won the series, I think we deserve some credit. We have a solid team. We can play baseball, we can win games and we can win a series against good teams. That’s what we did this series. We showed that we’re still a solid team and we showed that we deserve some respect.”
With their win on Wednesday, the Astros will face the winner of the Athletics-White Sox series starting Monday at Dodger Stadium.