Altuve was not the only reason the Astros won the first two games of this series, each by a 2-1 score. Dallas Keuchel, who shut out the Yankees on four hits over seven innings in Game 1, and Justin Verlander, who had 13 strikeouts in his complete-game victory the next day, had more than a little bit to do with it.
But Altuve collected five hits in eight at-bats in those games, scoring two of the Astros’ four runs, stealing a base to set up one of those runs and generally playing with the kind of energy that made the Yankees appear somewhat flat-footed.
Altuve was the runner who barreled down on catcher Gary Sanchez at the end of Game 2, scoring the winning run all the way from first base as shortstop Didi Gregorius’s one-hop throw squirted out of Sanchez’s glove.
“We like to put pressure on teams,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said. “Altuve really ran well around the bases when the ball…