Thoughts after a crazy once in a blue moon win for the Astros

By now it is no secret that the Astros did something incredible on Sunday. They were down three runs in the ninth with two outs and two strikes and no one on base and came back to win 5-3. Normally, I try to avoid using the first person in these posts, but what happened was very personal for all of us, so here is what I thought while this craziest of innings unfolded.

I think this was the most amazing comeback for the Astros in the ninth inning ever because of what was on the line. I cannot tell you how much up and down emotion I had in this one inning.
When Tucker got down two strikes I thought “Well there is always tomorrow”.
When he ripped an absolute no doubter HR I thought, “Good for the young man”.
When Springer had two strikes on him and barely fouled off a couple I thought, “He is going to whiff”.
When he lined one to right center I thought, “Oh boy”!
When I saw Calhoun closing on the ball I thought, “Oh crap”!
When the ball got by a diving Calhoun for a triple I thought, “Tying run coming up”.
When Altuve lined one to left center I thought, “They play him that way they are going to catch it.”
When his liner had a humpback in it and dropped in front of the fielders I thought, “We are going to lose 3-2 again”.
When Correa smoked one up the middle I thought, “The rally is alive.”
When Featherston made a tremendous play to stop it and popped up to throw to first I thought, “Oh crap”!
When he did not throw to first when he had plenty of time to throw I thought “What the heck” (well maybe not heck)?
When I saw the ball jammed half way through the webbing I thought, “This is meant to be”.
When Lowrie missed a high fastball right down the middle, I thought, “Oh crap”.
When the ump missed a pitch on the outside corner I thought, “They were owed one.”
When Lowrie lifted one down the right field line and started leaning while watching it I thought, “It is going foul”.
When Calhoun was closing in on it near the foul pole I thought, “Oh crap”.
When Calhoun jumped like he was me and missed the ball by a few inches I thought, “Wow, is Gene Elston’s ghost clinging to his ankle?”
And when I saw the whole team including Evan Gattis who was pinch hit for going bat crap crazy in the dugout I thought, “Good for the guys – this might be the game that saves the division title for them”.

So, what were your thoughts after a once in a decade or two win for this team?

90 comments on “Thoughts after a crazy once in a blue moon win for the Astros

  1. That’s great Dan , my wife was out running errands and your post is almost exactly what I was emailing her watching that awesome comeback. I mean 1 strike away from an Angels sweep and the Rangers waiting for us in Arlington .5 games out.

    HUGE WIN. !!!!!!!

    If only the Texans could have won )-:

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  2. As I stated yesterday, I had turned the game off and only turned it back on as the bottom of the 9th started. I was sooo excited when I found out we had the lead I was just screaming!! I had to wait until the game was over, until they posted the video to see all the highlights! I just grinned to see the WHOLE team go nuts in the dugout! I thought this is the game that will turn this season around for these guys. I have no idea, and neither do they what the Rangers series will be like, but if there was a team going into a series as important as this with their heads held high it’s these guys!! They feel good about themselves and attitude is half the battle! Just play your game Astros, and do your best that’s all any of us can ask of you. I’ll say another prayer that they play well, and stay healthy…..but I gotta tell ya, I cheat and ask for Devine intervention! ♡♡

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    • I do too. Sometimes I feel bad praying for a baseball team when there is so much more going on that’s needs my prayers. I always ask God to forgive me, I tell him I can’t help myself. I love them.

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  3. I turned it off around the 7th inning and was sitting depressed eating ice cream, while my husband watched the news. My iPhone “at bat app” dinged ( I thought it was over ) when I looked, it was the Tucker HR. I was thinking, that boy needs more playing time. I told my husband and he offered to put the game back on. I said no, 2 outs in the 9th. I’m a coward, I didn’t want to see the end.
    “At bat” digs a couple of more times. My curiosity got to me. When I finally looked I screamed “turn the game back on”
    Startled hubby, he switched channels and says what the h**l happened.
    The game was recording, so we watched the 9th inning.
    It was amazing.
    I always record the games. Just in case.

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  4. 1. I remain optimistic about the pennant.
    2. I expect at least 3 out of 4 in Texas.
    3. I will not annoy Becky about why # 2 might happen.
    4. See # 3.

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    • Wait, are predicting Jonathon Villar becomes the first Astros player to hit for the cycle in three consecutive games before the Astros drop the fourth game and miss out on the sweep after Fields hits Odor squarely in the back with the bases loaded and score tied in the ninth?

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  5. The nice thing on Root Sports is they don’t have a lot of programming so they immediately replay the game – I tuned in a little later and watched the last couple innings like it was live. It was a little baseball miracle.
    What gets me is that even when it was 2 outs and 2 strikes the guys are up on the step and rail watching closely what happens. They really pull for each other and that is great.
    Kind of lost in the whole insane win is the fact that George Springer had 3 hits. It would be great if George went on a streak like last season and leads them to beat the heck out of the Rangers.
    Big game tonight to carry that momentum over…..

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  6. My apologies to Mr. Paul Simon, but here goes nothing:

    I saw my hapless heroes on the tube last night
    Their play was uninspiring – so what’s new?
    But I mixed a Margarita, and endured the Angels’ cheers –
    I’m still crazy after all these years.
    Yeah . . . still crazy after all these years.

    Two outs and counting . . .
    O Crap! losses mounting!
    Then Tucker sends one far away.
    Did George just get lucky?
    Ain’t Altuve plucky?
    Did that Calhoun somehow not make that play?

    Now I sit in my armchair and I watch the ‘Stros.
    Though they’ll probably turn to pumpkins any day.
    And each time I want to give up,
    I just choke back bitter tears . . .
    And think ‘just maybe . . . after all these years!’
    OHHH, just maybe . . . after all these years!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I recorded the replay on ROOT Sports and have fast forwarded to the 9th inning. I watch it, rewind numerous times back to 2-1 pitch to Lowrie just to relive the moment over and over again. I thought Lowrie’s grand slam last Sunday was the biggest hit of the season, but this definitely topped it.

    Now, they absolutely MUST carry this into Arlington and win tonight. I think tonight is the key game of the series. If the Astros win I think it can lead to an Astros series win, but if they lose then all the momentum from this remarkable win in Anaheim goes away and gives the Rangers confidence to win the series. I wish we had Gomez available since the Rangers are throwing 3 LH pitchers in the 1st 3 games, but the win yesterday should give them a boost of confidence going into the game tonight. Let’s go Astros!

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  8. This is a follow up to 1OP post about Matt Duffy. First I don’t subscribe to the Chron. Therefore it may be partially my fault. But it is so sad that there is a wonderful story I am sure about Matt Duffy. Yet, if it doesn’t fit on Twitter, we will only know about it from this blog and a few others. In the past, a beat writer would already have interviewed him to see what was different this year, what he did last winter, how he felt about being left unprotected in 2014, etc.

    Thanks to each of you three, and the numerous people that come on here and “tell the story” that is no longer available to us. Heck, I would enjoy an in depth on Brett Wallace and him hitting .329 or JD Martinez. Today, all we get is a headline and a couple quotes from a hand held phone recorder.

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  9. It is strange how things change over time. Growing up the sportswriters were our touchstone to the teams. And of course everyone took a newspaper in those days – so it was the one way we found out about the team, players, manager and coaches to any depth. I loved to read those articles even if I had listened to every minute of the game on the radio.
    Now journalism is dying it seems and it is more important ot be “liked” or to count your followers than it is to bring real sports news to the fans.
    We do our best here considering we have no way of interviewing any of the main participants. This blog is fun and brings us mostly joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Let’s see – Cole Hamels is a lefty.
    1B
    Valbuena against lefties 2015 – .159 BA / .572 OPS
    MarGo against lefties 2015 – .298 BA / . 830 OPS

    C
    Conger against lefties 2015 – .155 BA / .596 OPS
    Stassi against lefties career (small sample) – .308 BA / .692 OPS

    What kind of %^&*ing computers are they using over there????

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  11. Has Conger been catching Kazmir since he came over? A lot of the times a lineup card is written with pitcher/catcher combos in mind than what that catcher will do offensively. I really have no idea who has been catching Kazmir but just throwing it out there.

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  12. I guess I have some peace with tonight’s lineup…….at least “you know who” isn’t in it. We need all on board tonight, and jump on Hamels early…..because you KNOW that’s exactly what the Rangers are going to try to do with Kazmir. Look for them to run at will on Conger. JEEZE.

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  13. Well captured, Dan! We had the good fortune to see it live. More karma – would not have been watching if the US Open Men’s Final hadn’t been delayed by rain.

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  14. Oh Lord……guess whose coming in to play for Lowrie. Somebody needs to pray for me, before I murder someone. Please, please, please don’t commit an error😠😠

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  15. Instead of Villar, why not put Carter at first and move Valbuena to third? Better yet, put Duffy at one corner and Valbuena at the other. In what universe is Villar a better choice than Duffy?

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  16. Six guys in the lineup tonight hitting under .235. Six! out of nine.
    You cannot win games in a pennant race when you cannot put guys in the lineup who can hit. Guys who hit for low batting avg will not deliver with runners on because they are bad hitters. They hit a single and they are done for the night.
    Dropped popup costs a run.
    Bad pickoff throw.
    Will Harris did the same thing last week as he did tonight. His arm is dead and he has no movement. He’s pitched out! It’s the same thing that happened to Qualls earlier this year, not enough juice to make up for no movement. Fields is in the same boat. His fastball has no life.
    But then again, three runs and 1 for 9 with RISP. They lost this game with runners on first and third and nobody out. They keep bad hitters in the lineup and refuse to do anything different. Why did Villar bat in the ninth from the left side against their closer, a righty? Villar is terrible from the left side. Why not bat Tucker? You have Duffy on the bench if you tie the game up or go ahead and he can play third base for Villar. Why not pinch hit the guy who started it off the night before?
    And what about Velasquez and Feliz. Why don’t you put somebody out there on the mound who can blow a fastball past Moreland who strikes out a lot. Why did you bring them up just to sit them down? Why did you let Harris pitch to a lefty, with two lefties in your bullpen, Thatcher and Sipp. They are LOOGIES, so let them loogie! Harris got you beat with one loogie warming up and the other sitting down. Nothing makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry. I meant using a loogie to pitch to Fielder in the eighth, instead of Harris. I am seeing red and not as clear headed as I should be. I need tequila!

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    • I agree with most everything you said, especially not PH Tucker for Villar in the 9th. However, Harris has been our best reliever all year and is actually better against LHs so I understand leaving him in to face Fielder. Sipp is not really a LOOGY as he isn’t that much better against LHs than RHs and Harris has done better than Sipp against LHs.

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  17. That’s a tough loss, but they still have 3 left in this series. I just really don’t understand why Stassi can’t get a start against a LH pitcher? We are facing a LH the next 2 games. I really hope Hinch gets Stassi a start.

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  18. All the momentum from that improbable win on Sunday was lost last night. They can get it back with a win tonight, but the Astros may be without MarGo, Lowrie and Castro and we know Gomez is out. The injury bug is hitting them at the wrong time.

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  19. Hamels was beatable last night. Our flawed lineup did pretty much what we’ve come to expect from them. Kazmir pitched well enough to win most games, but screwed up his own cause again. Our pen, the group that was so reliable for most of the season again showed cracks. Not a very tidy meaningful September baseball game.

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  20. That was a tough one last night. They did not play well enough to win it in any aspect of the game. I’m sick of seeing important games left up to people who have not been successful for us – Valbuena, Villar, Conger, etc.
    I’m worried that our pen is worn out a bit or just coming back to earth. I did not know that Kazmir was this poor a fielder. I thought when he got out of the 2nd and 3rd and 1 out jam that he was going to win this.
    I hate that we lost when pitching to Fielder – just feels bad.
    Oh well – they need to turn it around and today is the day to take the momentum back (not that it seems we had any mo from our Sunday win).

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    • We don’t have a Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland in the middle of our order. The top of our order is all we’ve got. We’re better at he top of the order than they are, but three guys can’t win a series like this alone. If Gattis, Rasmus and whoever else Hinch puts up in the 4-6 slots in place of Preston Tucker, who belongs there, doesn’t hit, this team cannot win this series.

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      • Bill, true indeed. It you look at the two lineups, we’ve got a batch of holes in ours, they really don’t. And when you mention the guys you just did, they’ve been around, and have played in important late season games before.

        And unfortunately, it looks like the dugout just got thinner. I was thinking earlier yesterday that Lowrie needed to play every inning from here on out. Does not look like that will be the case. Gomez was finally starting to hit and we’ll be missing him for at least the rest of this series. And as much as I’ve never thought I’d say this, Marwin has almost become invaluable to this team. On the other hand, that tells us how flawed we are.

        Seems the odds are getting stacked in the wrong direction a bit. But the 2015 version of our Houston Astros is still in first place on September 15. The guys have shown a bunch of spunk and I can’t write them off as of yet.

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      • Correct Mr Bill, there’s been a problem with the lineup for a good while. If the manager has the possible pieces and refuses to use them the results will remain the same.
        Hinch handles these young players very well, they really love playing for him. But handling the game is a different story. He’s being out managed every day.

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  21. I know it was one loss, but watching last night’s game “Wrote a Book” on the Astros Front Office again. They see contact hitters as a waste of money. They see no need to do a safety squeeze (or any other bunt) because that gives up an out. They have not hit “recalculate” all season on the computer. They have a book, and the negative results will have no effect on who plays, where they are positioned, nor the fact that good players on the other team adjust to what you are doing. With runners on 1st and third, you play for the 3 run HR. You can’t play “hit and run” because they turn into a strike’em out/throw’em out. This is the team as composed. This is the team we have. It can still win the division, but rest assured, nothing will be run different. I have no qualms with the play of the players. they are put into a situation to lose – night after night. They could have beaten Hamels. Not easily. But they never tried because the book said – “3 run HR coming up next.” And the book says if you have two strikes, you have to swing harder on the next pitch.

    And as hard as I have been on Carter, he might as well have played 1st last night. It is about to strike midnight and we have no glass slipper and no handsome prince.

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  22. I think we all agree with the last 10 or so comments. The problem is that if they are using the computer to run the game why pay a manager. Got to go with your gut once in awhile. I knew Harris didn’t have it last night as every pitch he threw was up. 1 for 9 with RISP is pathetic. This is a game as well as a few others that we should have won. We’re morphing into a all or nothing team. Playing 400 baseball like we have been will result in the guys sitting on the couch in October watching reruns of Celebrity Apprentice and eating Gummy Bears.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sandy, not sure if the question was posed to me. But I will say that it appears JL changed course during last winter to go for more power and K’s. I don’t know if he will not make another course correction this winter. This 2015 team is his construction and it is what it is. We all know that a general manager (leader, boss, jefe) makes a decision and then he has to live with it for a while. This is not really a lineup that can be tweaked much. He has been very astute in some selections and made terrible choices in others. If he is willing to remove the poor choices, then no not for long, he can look for higher OBP players (we are 11 of 15.) But the bottom are the LA Angels. In hits and BA, we are 14th followed by LA Angels. Yet 6th in runs. 2nd in HRs and Yes,1st in Ks by 55.

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  23. It is interesting how everything is magnified in the glaring light of the pennant race. The lack of situational hitting. The lineup filled with all or nothings. The injuries that are piling up on a thin young club, taking away veterans. The lineup decisions that do not make sense to anyone with access to baseball-reference.com. The decisions to use known quantities like Valbuena or Villar while Duffy sits waiting a chance.

    On the road the starting pitching has been down just a notch, the bullpen has been down a couple notches and the all or nothing hitting style does not succeed as often without the Crawford Boxes looming over left field.

    The Astros need McHugh and Keuchel to pitch out of their heads the next two games and hope that the lineup wakes up. They need two wins desperately in Arlington to be able to go home with a lead.

    Desperate times require desperate measures and so far our lineup has not reflected anything but the status quo.

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  24. Repeating myself from 100 posts ago. that line up sucked. We will not even be the Wild Card if Carter, Conger, val no beuno, villiar remain in the lineup. If Lowrie and Gomez out this series we are Chicken Fried steak!.

    If the Astros released those 4 maybe Villiar gets picked up. the other 3 maybe in AAA and that’s what is in the line up for a team trying to win the Division UGH.

    Roll the dice Duffy , Margo. Tucker, Stassi

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    • Tucker won’t play tonight or tomorrow since we are facing a LH, but I sure hope to see him at DH on Thursday with Colby Lewis on the mound. MarGo would have played last night if he wasn’t injured as he hits better against LH pitching. Lowrie is listed as day-to-day so he, Castro and Gomez are probably out tonight.

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  25. If we can get a win tonight we have Keuchel against Martin Perez tomorrow, which favors the Astros. I’m not saying we will win, but if they can find a way to dig deep and scratch out a win tonight it looks favorable to leave Arlington with at least a split, which I think all of us would have taken before the series started. The Astros would then return home for a long home stand with a 1 1/2 game lead. I said last night was a must win, but now tonight becomes a must win.

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  26. I’m actually wondering why Carter didn’t play last night. If you weren’t ready to throw Duffy out there, Carter made more sense to me than Valbuena at 1B. Guess there is a lot we can quibble and disect when they lose.

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