June 26, 2022

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Astros’ Jose Altuve’s postgame hug tradition continues with rookie Jeremy Peña replacing Carlos Correa

2 min read

During this incredible Astros run of five straight American League Championship Series and three World Series trips, fans became used to seeing the sweet tradition close friends Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa had to celebrate victories. Whenever the final out was recorded in a Houston win, they met near second base for an endearing hug before joining the rest of their teammates for handshakes and high fives.

The Astros won their 10th straight Opening Day game on Thursday night in Anaheim – beating the Angels 3-1 – but Correa left for Minnesota in March, so it was just Altuve out there looking at rookie Jeremy Peña, who’s trying hard to fill Correa’s shoes.

Judging from one photo, Peña is going to need to study some tape of his predecessor to really get the hang of the huge hugs Correa traditionally wrapped around Altuve.

I mean, come on. Look at this. No baseball player gives a better hug than Carlos Correa …

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hug at the end of the Astros 7-2 win of Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) hug at the end of the Astros 7-2 win of Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.Karen Warren/Staff photographer

As for his big league debut, the 24-year-old rookie did just fine. He teamed up with Altuve to turn three double plays. He also had nine balls hit to him – including the Angels’ first batter of the game – and fielded all of them cleanly, although he did commit an error when his throw to first barely pulled Yuli Gurriel off the bag when he sat back too much on a ground ball hit by the speedy Mike Trout. Peña made up for it on the next batter when he helped Altuve turn a double play that erased Trout.

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At the plate, Peña, who hit seventh in the lineup, went 0-for-4, but put together a good at-bat late in the game. He appeared overmatched in his first big league plate appearance when Shohei Ohtani, last year’s American League MVP, struck him out on three straight sliders. Ohtani struck him out again in the fourth inning. Peña grounded out to relief pitcher Austin Warren in the sixth, but then got a good look at reliever Ryan Tepera, who gave up back-to-back home runs to Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez earlier in the inning, in the eighth. In the at-bat, Peña fell behind 1-2, but battled back to work the count full, then fouled off two pitches, including one laser that barely hooked foul beyond the left-field foul pole. Peña eventually lined out to Trout in center.



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