Alex Bregman has his moment - Albuquerque Journal

Alex Bregman has his moment

The baseball game had raged beyond five hours, from the Texas evening into early morning of a new day, when a young man from Albuquerque grabbed a bat.

Alex Bregman of the Astros gets the game-winning hit off Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen
Alex Bregman of the Astros gets the game-winning hit off Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

Alex Bregman, who grew up in Albuquerque imagining such heroics, ended Game 5 of the World Series early Monday morning in Houston with an RBI single off indomitable Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, giving the Astros an exhausting 13-12 victory.

Afterward, mlb.com asked him: “Why is it that you were so fearless? What is it about you?”

Bregman’s answer: “I don’t know. I think it’s just due to the preparation I put in the offseason and spring training, and knowing that I have such good teammates around me, that I just need to do my part and pull my end of the rope. When you have a guy like Jose Altuve hitting behind you right there, I’m pretty sure Jansen would rather face me than him. So I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit.”

The Astros are in Los Angeles today, holding a 3-2 Series edge, looking to win their first world championship in franchise history.

And throughout this pursuit of a place in the baseball annals, the 23-year-old Bregman has announced his arrival to a national audience.

Folks in Albuquerque have known him for a while. When he was a sophomore at Albuquerque Academy, he was named USA Baseball Player of the Year.

When he was at baseball powerhouse Louisiana State University, school officials threatened to take away his key to the building where the batting cage was because he was in there all hours of the day and night.

“Obviously it’s in his DNA,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. “Since the day he showed up in the big leagues, he’s had a great youthful exuberance about himself and confidence about himself that is unwavered.

“I’m sure part of it is how he’s raised. I think part of it is how he’s grown and matured and comes to the levels. There is no higher level than this level, and he’s doing pretty well at it, which will add to that confidence.”

Bregman is one of eight players 23 years or younger who have hit multiple homers in the same World Series. Count Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Jimmie Foxx among them.

Fox has singled him out for interviews. The New York Times has featured him.

 Albuquerque native Alex Bregman reacts after driving in the winning run in Game 5 of the World Series
Albuquerque native Alex Bregman reacts after driving in the winning run in Game 5 of the World Series. Bregman has scored five runs with a couple of homers in the Series. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

“He loves baseball more than anybody I’ve ever seen,” his teammate Brian McCann told FS1 in its postgame show. “He lives for these moments.”

During the Series so far, in five games and 22 at-bats, Bregman has five runs, six hits, a double, two homers, five RBIs, two walks and a .274 batting average.

In Game 1, he hit a solo homer off a fastball from Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, providing the Astros their only run in a 3-1 loss.

He had two hits in Game 2, an epic 7-6 Houston win in 11 innings.

He was relatively quiet in Game 3, still contributing an RBI and a walk in Houston’s 5-3 win.

Lest we forget his defense at third base, in Game 4, with the game tied 0-0 in the sixth, Bregman charged a Charles Taylor grounder and darted a throw home to catcher McCann, who forced out Austin Barnes. His glove work has been praised by, among others, Alex Rodriguez, a man who used to roam third base territory with flair.

The Astros lost Game 4, 6-2, but Bregman also contributed his second homer of the Series – off Jansen.

In Game 5, before his 10th-inning heroics, he finagled a 10-pitch walk off Kershaw, forcing Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to yank his ace in the fifth inning.

With the game knotted at 12-12, and after Sunday had become Monday, Bregman watched as the table was set for him. With two outs in the 10th, Jansen hit McCann with a pitch. The next batter, George Springer, then walked. With the potential winning run in scoring position at second base, speedy pinch-runner Derek Fisher came in to run for McCann as Bregman stepped to the plate.

“It’s your time,” Astros All-Star Carlos Correa told Bregman as he approached his moment.

Since he had hit Jansen’s slider for a homer the night before, Bregman figured he would not see that pitch. He said he looked for something down in the strike zone, something he could stay on top of. And that’s what he got – a cutter down and away. He slapped a single to left field and Fisher sprinted home. After five hours and 17 minutes, it was over and Bregman was part of World Series lore.

“That guy lives for stuff like this,” Springer said of Bregman. “He loves it. I noticed he was digging in the box a little harder. He wanted to be the guy to do it.”

Bregman said to the nation’s media: “It’s such a special feeling that I’m so fortunate and blessed to feel.”

UpFront is a front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to Ed at 823-3933, ejohnson@abqjournal.com. Go to www.abqjournal.com/letters/new to submit a letter to the editor.

Home » Sports » Pro » MLB » Alex Bregman has his moment


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Ethics board advances complaint against county commissioner
ABQnews Seeker
A Bernalillo County ethics board has ... A Bernalillo County ethics board has advanced a complaint alleging an elected official improperly accepted a $5,000 campaign contribution from a lobbyist. The county's ...
2
Truck wash employee charged in homeless man's killing on ...
ABQnews Seeker
An employee at a truck wash ... An employee at a truck wash is accused of fatally shooting a fleeing homeless man who had punched him on Thursday afternoon in Northwest ...
3
City officials to discuss converting hotels to housing
ABQnews Seeker
Public meeting on the plan proposed ... Public meeting on the plan proposed by Mayor Keller is set for Tuesday
4
State issues public health emergency order as respiratory viruses ...
ABQnews Seeker
Order cites pediatric surge in RSV, ... Order cites pediatric surge in RSV, as well as COVID and the flu
5
Dozens of migrants allegedly abused, held hostage in the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Woman calls the conditions, treatment of ... Woman calls the conditions, treatment of the individuals so traumatic 'she hoped she would die’
6
Son is killed by State Police; mom asks why
ABQnews Seeker
She says 34-year-old had been diagnosed ... She says 34-year-old had been diagnosed with schizophrenia
7
A childhood dream realized
ABQnews Seeker
Visually-impaired woman has always wanted to ... Visually-impaired woman has always wanted to be a dispatcher
8
Person found dead near West Side gas station
ABQnews Seeker
A person was found dead Thursday ... A person was found dead Thursday afternoon outside a gas station in Northwest Albuquerque. Rebecca Atkins, an Albuquerque police spokeswoman, said the body was ...
9
A call for winter coats
ABQnews Seeker
Local CVS story manager, nonprofit founder ... Local CVS story manager, nonprofit founder strives to help homeless community