Carlos Correa was feeling confident after driving in the tie-breaking run that helped the Houston Astros advance past the Minnesota Twins in Wednesday’s American League Wild Card series game, and he took it as an opportunity to address the haters.
Correa’s seventh-inning hit sealed the Twins’ fate, marking their 18th straight postseason loss after getting swept by the Astros, but for the 26-year-old shortstop, Wednesday’s win meant something bigger for his embattled franchise.
“I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here,” Correa said in a postgame press conference. “But what are they going to say now?”
He was referencing the sign-stealing scandal in which Major League Baseball concluded in January that the team had recorded opposing teams’ signs during games throughout 2017 and part of the 2018 season.
The Astros won their first World Series in 2017 and were allowed to keep their title despite MLB’s findings — a major point of contention in the baseball community.
“I don’t think they necessarily thought that they had anything to prove. They just had to play ball,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said following the game.
But the Astros do in fact have a lot of work to do to prove themselves.
Houston stumbled through the 2020 season at 29-31 under Baker and new general manager James Click with a slew of injuries after the COVID-19 pandemic cut the schedule to 60 games.
They had the third-worst road record in the major leagues and would not have made the playoffs if not for the 16-team format.
The Astros advanced to the American League Division Series in Los Angeles. As the sixth seed, they’ll face the Oakland Athletics or Chicago White Sox in a best-of-five matchup starting Monday at Dodger Stadium.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.