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Wednesday countdown: Something’s gotta give, Astros push for playoffs


Who here has been watching the scoreboard?

I have the MLB app on my phone, and generally I don’t watch anything other than the Astros. Not this week. I’ve been watching the Rangers’ games and Angels’ games and even the Twins’ (when they’re not getting rained out).

Every game matters. Every inning matters. Every pitch matters. And not just in the Astros’ games.

In March — when I was predicting the Astros would go .500 and maybe win 85 games — if you’d told me Houston would be playing meaningful baseball on Sept. 29, I’d have told you to wake up and smell the rebuilding. Yet, here we are watching our beloved H-town Nine play games that matter.

And what matters most?

  • The loss column. It’s what Houston can control. At this point it’s not just about winning more, it’s really about losing fewer. Lose fewer games than the Angels, pray the Rangers’ losses exceed the Astros’ losses. Keep those Twins at bay.
  • Maintain control of your own destiny. Right now, Houston has lost control of its destiny. If the Astros win out, the Twins win out and the Angels lose just one, there would be a convoluted tie breaker for that second wild card spot. No one wants to play an extra game before the play-in game, but if that’s what it takes, the more baseball the merrier.
  • A ballpark is a ballpark. It’d be a long way until Houston plays at home again this year — if they ever do. That means treating Seattle, Arizona and (hopefully) New York like just another place to play ball.

Compare that to last year. What mattered then?

  • Jose Altuve’s batting title. Sure, I’d like Jose to get to 200 hits again, but I’m not tuning in only for his ABs.
  • Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh’s win total. Again, I’d like to see Houston get a 20-game winner (plus a 19-game winner) but only because this team so desparately needs wins.
  • September call ups. Last season, the more the merrier on the call ups. This season, I think Jeff Luhnow has called up plenty of players.

What are the consolation prizes? In the event that Houston doesn’t make the playoffs — or even the play-in game — do those moral victories matter?

  • Houston most likely has this year’s American League Cy Young winner, Rookie of the Year and, quite possibly, Manager of the Year. Will those small victories keep you satisfied during the long, cold winter of discontent?
  • The overall improvement. Extra baseball or not, this has been a better team in 2015, and that bodes well for 2016 and beyond. Will that improvement ignite your optimism for the future?
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About BrianT

Brian Todd is a freelance writer working and living in Rochester, Minn.

162 comments on “Wednesday countdown: Something’s gotta give, Astros push for playoffs

  1. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    Castro has 5Ks in last 5 ABs…

    FREE MAX STASSI

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      September 30, 2015

      Another two error game? Really?

      Like

  2. sandy
    September 30, 2015

    I feel sorry for Kazmir, can’t any run support OR defense. Valbuena looks like he’d rather be anywhere but there.

    Like

    • Devin_
      September 30, 2015

      Castro almost threw it around the horn with a man on first on that Nelson Cruz K. Not sure if it’s nerves or they lack focus tonight.

      Like

  3. astrocolt45
    September 30, 2015

    I think Ash must have his walking papers. He is “telling it like it is” tonight. Doubt that will play well with the upper ups.

    Like

    • sandy
      September 30, 2015

      I noticed that too. Good for him.

      Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      I’m watching at work so no sound…what has he been saying?

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        September 30, 2015

        Knocking the errors to include mental errors. Rasmus should have been on second after the muffed play in CF. Continues to talk about these last few games, can not continue to play this way. Thought Castro should have had a passed ball on pitch that he whiffed at catching. Is saying that first day of ST they are going to teach them to stay on the bag.

        Like

  4. sandy
    September 30, 2015

    Well, just now he and Blum saying Carter needs to learn how to slide and stay down and stay on the bag, Previously, talking about Castro needing to keep the glove on the ground. There were some other remarks that I don’t recall.
    Point is neither of them are sugar coating anything.
    Just now talking about Altuve freezing as Springer gets a hit.

    Like

    • Steeeve
      October 1, 2015

      Good recap. Agree, Ashby and Blum have been terrific at telling it like it is.

      Like

  5. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    omg we’re winning…and ain’t that the other guy who we got in the trade with Matt Dominguez for Carlos Less?

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      I tried to post that several minutes ago, obviously. call came through at work lol

      Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      *Lee, not Less.

      Like

  6. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    GRRRR…hate the Kazmir trade

    Like

  7. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    If they resign this clown, I’m done. Send him back to the Skeeters.

    Like

  8. sandy
    September 30, 2015

    They all look like they’ve given up. Dang.

    Like

  9. Becky⚾
    September 30, 2015

    They are going to lose this game, and they should. They can’t hit, they can’t field, they can’t catch, and our pitcher can NOT pitch. Shame…..real shame. I’m not sure what happened to Scott Kazmir…..he has completely lost the ability to pitch, if that’s the case he won’t be pitching anywhere next year.

    Like

    • sandy
      September 30, 2015

      He looks miserable. Even on non pitching days, never see him show any emotion.

      Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      I knew the first half performance was a fluke…he’s pitching like he did before he made his initial comeback.

      Like

  10. Becky⚾
    September 30, 2015

    I want to get out of wordpress, does anyone know how to do it??

    Like

    • sandy
      September 30, 2015

      Something wrong?

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        September 30, 2015

        It won’t let me comment on my phone or my desk top ( yes I still have one of those)!!
        I was able to log out on my tablet, but it keeps asking me to use another password. I really never intended to sign up…..but I guess I didn’t get out of it before it signed me up!! I’ll leave them an email tomorrow….maybe someone in support can get me out.

        Like

  11. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    Gomez is FAST, ain’t he?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    That ‘strike’ to Carter was low…..

    Like

  13. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    OMG….my co-worker just CALLED THAT HOMERUN!!!!!!

    Like

  14. sandy
    September 30, 2015

    HALLELUJAH!!!

    Like

  15. 1oldpro
    September 30, 2015

    Well, I’m done watching. The worst part for me was the base running. Carter overslid and everybody was ranting about Altuve not scoring. But Rasmus not running hard on the ball that fell in and Castro not running hard on his ball that the guy dove for and missed told me that this team is done.
    Kazmir obviously has something wrong, but there he is still pitching until he gives it up, with nine guys in the bullpen and a day off tomorrow and everything riding on this game.
    I’ll talk about next year but I’m done with this lousy team for this year.
    Jim Crane, I know you are a good for nothing, but could you possibly get mad and lop some heads off. I would sure feel better about the future.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      You know we tied it back up, right?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        September 30, 2015

        Yeah, I saw it on ESPN.com. I just can’t watch anymore. Watching Gattis swing like a two year old and Rasmus just taking a called strike three with two runners on made me so mad I can’t even say my night prayers without stuttering.
        Errors and dropped popups and wild pitches.
        I actually have six hours of driving tomorrow to get my wife to a checkup with a neurosurgeon.
        Maybe I will wake up in the morning and find out Seattle is actually worse than we are. God bless you all. G’night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Billy Castillo
        September 30, 2015

        OP…I’ll be keeping your wife in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes…

        Like

    • sandy
      September 30, 2015

      I agree with your last paragraph, but don’t give up yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Becky⚾
    September 30, 2015

    Even with all hands on deck, the M’S are just a better team, kind of like the *idiots* in Arlington.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 30, 2015

      We’ll see…still tied with 2 innings to go

      Like

  17. Billy Castillo
    September 30, 2015

    YES!!!!

    Like

  18. Becky⚾
    October 1, 2015

    Hinch is going to pitch Harris’S arm off……not to mention Tony Sipps. Another error.

    Like

  19. Becky⚾
    October 1, 2015

    *TWO* ERRORS BY CORREA……..OH LORD HELP US.

    Like

  20. sandy
    October 1, 2015

    OMG Perez

    Like

  21. sandy
    October 1, 2015

    1 more torturous inning to go. Sigh.

    Like

  22. sandy
    October 1, 2015

    Good night and God bless☺️

    Like

  23. Becky⚾
    October 1, 2015

    Good win….terrible game.

    Like

  24. Dan P
    October 1, 2015

    I get up at 5:15 so I went to bed with us losing 2-0. Woke up this morning wondering what happened all the way around.
    Looks like a roller coaster ride last night – the good with the bad.
    – We can’t let Kazmir anywhere near a playoff start.
    – If they make the playoffs, the Chris Carter who fell out of an alien space ship two weeks ago will be the key offensive cog
    – Weird how they can’t field when Kazmir pitches
    – Harris and Sipp and don’t give up the ship.
    – I can’t believe they still have a chance – thought they were going to free fall a week ago.
    – Don’t give up on this team because this team never gives up

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      October 1, 2015

      Last night was just one awful blooper sequence after another. Gomer Pyle spilled orange juice on Inspector Clouseau as Jerry Lewis looked on in mock horror. Run Evan run.

      Like

    • sandy
      October 1, 2015

      I thought it would never end. Every time the Mariners came to bat I couldn’t breathe. Terribly wonderful game.

      Like

  25. Steeeve
    October 1, 2015

    The Mariners are worse than we are! The Mariners are worse than we are!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 30, 2015 by in Astros.
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