On Oct. 4, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve played in his last regular season game. He went 3 for 3 with two doubles, capping a hot finish to the season. He hit .366/.450/.649 in his last 36 games. Keep this in mind whenever someone fallaciously comments that it's important to play well heading into the playoffs.
After Oct. 4, Altuve went 0 for 25, stinking his way through the 2022 postseason as the Astros persevered around him.
On Saturday night, Game 3 of the ALCS, he finally, mercifully, singled in the top of the fifth inning.
Between those two dates, Altuve went 0 for 16 in the Astros' ALDS sweep of the Mariners and 0 for 9 in the ALCS, striking out nine times.
After Altuve's double in Game 3, he was retired two more times, so he's 1 for 28 in the playoffs this year.
Altuve, before this season, sported a prolific postseason resume. He was a career .286/.361/.547 hitter in 79 playoff games with 15 doubles, 23 homers, 49 RBI and 70 runs scored. He's second in career playoff home runs, third in runs, eighth in RBI, ninth in hits and fourth in total bases.
Despite Altuve's brutal start to the playoffs, the Astros still haven't lost in the postseason. They swept the Mariners in three games and have a 3-0 lead over the Yankees in the best-of-seven ALCS. The only team to ever make it through the postseason undefeated under a multi-round format was the 1976 Reds, who swept the Phillies in the NLCS and Yankees in the World Series.