Harrison Bader hits playoff homer no. 4, shows he is in fine shape

Harrison Bader hitting his homer in Houston in ALCS Game 1

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HOUSTON — Harrison Bader is in a hurry to make up for the lost time and win the hearts in New York. After being sidelined for the majority of the regular season with a foot injury, the Yankees’ outfielder has emerged as one of the team’s most important contributors in October, and he did it again in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

At Minute Maid Park, in the second inning, Harrison Bader hit his fourth home run of the 2022 postseason. It was a solo shot and it was hit off of the ace pitcher for the Astros, Justin Verlander, who played havoc on the Yankees’ offense. In a year in which he parted ways with the Cardinals after playing for them for a total of six years and also struggled with an injury, this is a welcome turn of events.

“Honestly, for me, all year just being hurt and complaining about what I had going on, I’m just really relieved to be able to be in a position where I can physically feel good and contribute to a Major League club,” Bader said after the game, “Because I wasn’t doing that with the Cardinals.”

The left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery was sent to St. Louis so that the Yankees were able to acquire the outfielder. The deal is considered to be quite surprising. Harrison Bader had not yet returned to action from injury when the Yankees went for him.

“From a professional point of view, I respect their job and the choice they made,” Bader said on Wednesday. “I’ve always been looking forward to getting healthy and ready, and I’ve always known I would. Now I can do it in pinstripes. So it means a lot to me.”

After he was activated from the injured list in late September, it took Harrison Bader some time to establish himself as a consistent hitter at the plate. But the man who is originally from Bronxville, New York, has approached each time he has been up to bat as a fresh opportunity, and it is this mentality that has been crucial in this most recent power surge.

I don’t really view it as a hot streak,” Bader said “I had a bunch of at-bats towards the end of the regular season, kind of working through some stuff and found my groove, found some rhythm. Every at-bat is a clean slate. So, you know, I don’t really view it as a linear thing.”

Before this year, Harrison Bader had never hit a home run in the postseason, despite the fact that he had played for the Cardinals in a total of ten playoff games between the years 2019 and 21. For the first time in his career, the 28-year-old star defender has hit home runs four times in six playoff games.

As the situations become demanding, Harrison Bader ups his playing level. Anthony Rizzo, who plays first base for the Yankees, said, “He’s a good player.” “He’s a good hitter, a great defender, and his swing is very short. That’s just him being himself, and it’s beautiful to see.”

The Yankees‘ solo home run on Wednesday was the only bad thing on Verlander’s stat sheet. The favorite for the Cy Young Award dominated the Yankees for six innings, allowing only one run and striking out 11 batters.

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead over the Astros early in the game thanks to Bader’s solo home run, which was estimated to have traveled 411 feet to left-center field. The outfielder has a current batting average of .263, an on-base percentage of 1.259, and five runs batted in for the Yankees in the 2022 postseason. Harrison is a consistent threat for a Yankees lineup that has seen its share of highs and lows.

But the Yankees were unable to maintain their early lead as a direct result of the dominance displayed by Verlander and the rest of the Astros’ bullpen, which, over the course of three innings, allowed one earned run on two hits, one walk, and one hit batter.

Harrison Bader will have an important chance to use his “clean slate” strategy on Thursday when the Yankees try to tie up the series in Game 2 and take the momentum back to New York.

Can Harrison Bader repeat his home run on Thursday? What do you think?

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