Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve had a great 2014, one that wound up with him winning the AL batting title during a game with the New York Yankees in late September. He finished the year hitting .341, edinging out Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers to take home 'batting champion' honors.
While that was a moment of pride for the Astros' 2015 All-Star, he told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he prefers his club's current chase for a postseason spot to be better: "That was one of the best moments in the big leagues I ever had. That was a pretty cool moment. I would say I'd rather be in this situation that I'm in right now. Like, obviously I'm having another good season, but what makes it even better, we're chasing October."
Indeed the Astros are in the playoff hunt, though they enter play Wednesday a half-game off the pace of the red-hot Los Angeles Angels for the second AL Wild Card spot.
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Altuve expressed that there was a bit of an individual aspect to his 2014 heroics, something that clashes with this season's team-oriented effort: "Last year, that was something that I have to do. Like, I have to win it," Altuve told Drellich. "But this year, it's more like a team effort. And I think every single guy is putting all his effort to win every single game and go to playoffs. But I mean, I wouldn't say I feel pressure (now) -- but I feel anxious to win the games."
That anxiety will only grow more pronounced now that Houston has to rally to pick up some more wins in the next few days and, they hope, reassert themselves into the postseason mix. Time is running out, after all.