Seeing the Houston professional athletes support each other is always great to see. What would be even better, though, is if the Texans could manage replicate the Astros’ winning mentality and killer instinct.
By now, it’s obvious second baseman Jose Altuve was born for October. His walk-off two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning delivered the ALCS-clinching Game 6 win, 6-4, over the New York Yankees on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros are going with their best option available to start Game 4 of the ALCS, right here and right now. The attitude of not looking too far ahead and focusing on winning the next game in front of them is the correct way to go.
The Astros can now easily survive dropping Game 1, after coming back to take Game 2 for the home split. Just last year, the Astros won Game 1 of the ALCS in Boston, and, unfortunately, we all know how that turned out here in Houston.
It’s difficult to remember a time when Astros’ batters last looked this lame and lifeless. Give credit to the Yankees pitchers and defense; they went out and achieved what seemed like the impossible — they completely shut down the Astros’ ballyhooed offense.
In all, the Rays sent nine different pitchers to the mound, seven of which were highly effective. It’s an approach that can be successful, but it still doesn’t beat a good, old-fashioned ace pitching at the top of his game, as the Astros proved in closing out the ALDS.
The Astros’ cause was not helped by their starting pitcher Zack Grienke, who was awful (3.2 innings, five hits, six earned runs, three home runs), or their bullpen (a combined 4.1 innings, seven hits, three earned runs, one home run).
Going forward, the offense’s consistency (or lack thereof) appears to be the key to the team’s successes (or failures) this season.
Gerrit Cole's 7.2 scoreless innings, surrendering just four hits and a walk, and his 15 strikeouts set a new franchise playoff record, topping Mike Scott’s 14 strikeouts on Oct. 8, 1986 in the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets. Cole is only the seventh pitcher in postseason history to throw 15 or more strikeouts allowing a walk.
For fans and players who may have forgotten, playoff baseball is a different animal. Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on Friday afternoon was never going to be a 15-2 rout that the Astros made all too common during the regular season. But, that doesn’t mean the Astros were all that much less comfortable.
What the Houston Astros have done this season is nothing short of spectacular — a franchise record 107 wins, two pitchers leading all American League Cy Young Award contenders, an AL Rookie of the Year shoe-in, an AL MVP candidate, and a batting order drawing legitimate comparisons to the ’2…
The Astros had their champaign- and beer-drenched fun in the clubhouse, but also behaved like a group that is a far distance away from being content with Sunday’s achievement or any achievements that are made in the regular season.
While the Houston Astros have now hit the century mark on wins — their third straight season to do so — and have the AL West all but clinched, there is still plenty of intrigue to be had in the final nine games. Here are three things to watch as the regular season comes to a close.
Looking at the key positions where teams desire to have franchise players in place, the Houston Texans, at least, have much more good than bad.
Saturday night, Indianapolis Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the sports world by announcing his retirement from football, doing so at the age of 29 and coming off one of his best seasons in 2018 that saw him win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.