CHIPALATTA

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Sunday countdown: Enjoy the ride, we may never pass this way again


The playoffs begin today for the 2015 Houston Astros.

At this point in the season, you don’t need to be a math wizard to figure out the playoff scenarios for the American League. But it’s not just win and you’re in for the Astros. Yes, it’s that simple in one way, but let’s just say it gets better if the Angels win.

Or does it?

There are essentially three scenarios for Houston.

  • Win against the Diamondbacks, Texas wins and Houston is the wild card. Houston would play the Yankees Tuesday, site to be determined.
  • Win against the Diamondbacks, Angels win and Houston plays Texas in a one-game playoff Monday in Arlington.
  • Lose against the Diamondbacks, Angels win and Houston plays Angels in a one-game winner-take all playoff Monday at Minute Maid Park.

Follow the bouncing ball. And, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that (e.g. keystone cops).

Either way, the Astros’ rotation is set quite well, based on this season’s performance. Most pitchers are available Sunday and most would be available in a playoff scenario for Monday, though it’s likely Mike Fiers would start. Dallas Keuchel would start against the Yankees on Tuesday.

So as it turns out, we’re discussing playoff rotations, lineups and rosters for the post season rather than for 2016. At least for today.

Of course you realize, don’t you, that Houston’s season won’t be over today, that the Astros could be playing “free” baseball tomorrow, right? It would technically be Game #163, but it would be extra and no one — no, don’t even go there — predicted Houston would be in this spot six months, perhaps even three months ago.

Enjoy the ride. Talk it up. Because we may never pass this way again! Not in this same scenario of a team that shouldn’t be here anyway.

Couple of quick questions:

  • Would you rather just concede the division to Texas and get the playoffs started on Tuesday with the Yankees?
    • Or play the Rangers in a one-game playoff, potentially getting your rotation out of whack?
  • Who will be the key to Sunday and Monday games? In other words, potential heroes and goats?
  • Simple question: Will the Astros be playing on Tuesday?
  • Describe your emotions on this last day (maybe) of the regular season.
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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

76 comments on “Sunday countdown: Enjoy the ride, we may never pass this way again

  1. Robert
    October 4, 2015

    Chip
    Great post as usual! I’ve been super busy but keeping up with everyone’s thoughts. I live in north Texas and would love to see the Astros win the division outright. Especially since I kept my bragging to myself the entire time the Astros were ahead of the rangers. However the day the rangers took the division lead my phone was blowing up with texts bragging about how the rangers had overtaken us.
    I don’t know if the cost of losing pitching for the rest of the playoffs is worth even the division title.
    I’m just glad to know that we have at least one more game after today. I say take care of our business and win today and let the chips fall where they may. Let’s go ASTROS!

    Like

  2. Devin_
    October 4, 2015

    In the event we play the Rangers for the division title would the rosters be expanded for that game? I would do no shuffling that impacts Tuesday. Unless you planned to start Fiers on Tuesday at NYY (what? Are you crazy?) you can start him on Monday. Alternately, I might consider running Straily out there against the Rangers.

    Like

  3. astrocolt45
    October 4, 2015

    There is no use crying over spilt milk. It just makes it salty for the kitty. Win today and we get to have a one game play off to advance to someplace. Had we had just one situational hitting occur back over the past 150 games – the conversation would be settled. But alas, that did not happen. And as stated, I never thought this team would make it this far or this close. They have played well recently with their backs to the wall. Due to a lousy September, backs are still against the wall and will be for a minimum of two more games.

    Like

  4. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    I’m going to procrastinate. Please disregard my last post. Today, I’d like to see a Ranger win, an Astro win and a Yankee loss. Having a day off, sleeping at home and then hosting NY seems to me the best way for us to enter the post season.

    Like

    • BrianT
      October 4, 2015

      To me, that’s a good backup plan. Win the division on Monday with Fiers on the mound, and send Keuchel out on Wednesday against the Blue Jays.

      Like

  5. BrianT
    October 4, 2015

    So, if the Astros win and the Rangers lose … carry the 1 and divide by pi … Wow, I’m glad you did the math for me.

    It all starts with LMJ shutting down a potent DBacks lineup. After that, let the chips fall where they may.

    Like

  6. BrianT
    October 4, 2015

    Here’s another thought: Who’d you rather face in the divisional round, Toronto or KC? To play the Royals we’d need to get past the Damn Yankees. We get Toronto if we win the division.

    Like

  7. BrianT
    October 4, 2015

    And for anyone who thinks Price might snag the AL Cy Young, his win total wouldn’t even be second best on the Astros rotation.

    Like

  8. SargeH
    October 4, 2015

    What a wild race to the finish!!!!

    Concede??!!! Blank, blank, blank NO! Take the Rangers on and beat them! The rotation can be settled afterwards.

    Heroes to each game can be wildly spread. Correa, Altuve, Springer, Rasmus, dare I say Carter (spit)! I refuse to entertain any thoughts of goats.

    On Tuesday, the Astros will not be playing. Instead, they will be playing Thursday.

    My emotions are completely flat now…. Gotta catch my breath.

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    October 4, 2015

    I want the Astros to win today and play the Rangers tomorrow and win that.
    Then I want them to win the next series and the next series and the World Series.

    Like

  10. sandy
    October 4, 2015

    I second OP, however, If the Astros play the Rangers tomorrow and win it would just be awesome. I would be happy with the division title.

    Like

  11. sandy
    October 4, 2015

    We are really watching the last regular season game still in contention.
    I must be dreaming!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    I want them to win every day and let the chips fall where they may.
    I would like to see them play to win the division because I think the Rangers are about to implode. I also hate the thought of the one and done.
    Angels winning right now – C’mon Astros

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    I loved Springers RBI double – giving himself on the bases? Not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Billy Castillo
    October 4, 2015

    Relying on you guys for updates…all the football nuts have control of the tv today here at work 😦

    Like

  15. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    2-1, 2-1, 2-1. I think we are going to see some wild stuff today.

    Like

  16. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    Whoops!

    Like

  17. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    We were down 1-0 after a 1st inning no doubter HR to center. Then Springer knocked in Altuve with a double off the CF fence, but Springer almost sacrificed himself off 2nd – Altuve would have scored anyway.
    4th inning was a killer. After one out there was a simple grounder to 1st and LMJ dropped the throw. Then the pitcher hits a double the other way and then LMJ balked him in.
    So we are down 2-1 in 5th. Rangers just took a 3-2 lead in 5th. Altuve is on 3rd with one out.

    Like

    • Diane
      October 4, 2015

      Way to go, Dan. Do a Gene Elston.

      Like

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      Oh man…we gotta pull this one out…still have time!

      Like

      • Billy Castillo
        October 4, 2015

        Right when I typed that we tied it lol…

        Like

  18. Kevin
    October 4, 2015

    We could sure have used Castro and Lowrie to actually have a good at bat the last few weeks

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      Is Lowrie signed for next year?

      Like

      • Kevin
        October 4, 2015

        I think so

        Like

      • Tim
        October 4, 2015

        He’s signed thru 2017.

        Like

  19. 1oldpro
    October 4, 2015

    D’Backs get a run in the fifth. we’re down 3-2.

    Like

  20. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    If the pen pitches like they did early, we will win this game.

    Like

  21. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    We have two more chances to get a win today….but time is dwindling down boys.
    Perfect inning to get ahead, and Marisnick strikes out…..DANG.

    Like

  22. Billy Castillo
    October 4, 2015

    Tied AGAIN. ..wish I could be watching it….I HATE football!

    Like

  23. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    Billy C
    The DBacks took the lead 3-2 in the 5th on a single, wild pitch and a ground rule double.
    Then we tied it in the 7th with a Springer walk, Correa single where Springer hustled to 3rd and then scored on a wild pitch.
    The Rangers are cruising 9-2 and the Yanks are losing – 6-2 I think – so it is looking pretty good.

    Like

    • Dan P
      October 4, 2015

      Yikes – guy on 3rd nobody out for DBacks

      Like

  24. 1oldpro
    October 4, 2015

    Springer dares the D’Backs LF to throw him out at 3B and the LF declines that challenge. Springer then scores on a wild pitch. Tied up 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh. Rangers pouring it on the Angels, 9-2 in the eighth and Baltimore beating the Yankees, 7-2 in the sixth.

    Like

    • SargeH
      October 4, 2015

      Additionally, Correa went from first to third on that wild pitch!

      Like

  25. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    Looks like the strangers are going to take it…..unless our guys can figure out how to HIT!! Situational hitting is gonna kill this game for the Astros.😠😠😠

    Like

  26. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    (((((( QUALLS ))))) GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    Like

    • SargeH
      October 4, 2015

      Qualls is 37 and should retire after this season.

      Like

  27. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    Damn, the pen.

    Like

  28. Billy Castillo
    October 4, 2015

    Qualls + Perez= loss

    Like

  29. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    I see Conger with a bat.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      Confirmed loss, then…he’s our bad luck charm, regardless of what he does (or doesn’t do)

      Like

  30. Kevin
    October 4, 2015

    I guess we really didn’t want to have a home playoff game Qualls r u kidding me. Who mad that decision, Bo Porter call that in!

    Like

  31. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    I’m sitting here in Dallas Texas watching the Rangers celebrate what SHOULD have been us, and trying not to cry. My sister and brother in law are pretty happy today… while I sit and listen to the Astros totally giving g it up in Arizona. Ask me how pissed off I am……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      October 4, 2015

      We are in as a Wild Card and two Wild Card teams met last year in the World Series….just sayin’

      Like

  32. Kevin
    October 4, 2015

    Um Pissed. So is it Keuchel on Tuesday?

    Like

  33. Billy Castillo
    October 4, 2015

    At least we made the wild card.

    Like

  34. Diane
    October 4, 2015

    Whenever I see Neshek, I think all we need is Shadrach and Abednego.
    Sorry bout that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      LOL…well, he, Qualls, and Perez can be fed to lions and I’d be ok lol

      Like

  35. Billy Castillo
    October 4, 2015

    Did Altuve get to 200 hits?

    Like

  36. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    Yes he did Billy. This team was almost given up for dead a couple of weeks ago. They went out on the road and showed some real grit for a young group. They can beat the Yankess in NY on Tuesday and move on from there. Good for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      Works for me!

      Like

  37. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    I might punch someone in the mouth before today is over…..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    The Astros should have won that game today, but as usual giving the other team free outs. JEEZE I’m mad. If I never see Chad Qualls again it will be too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    October 4, 2015

    Ok, this proves it. Can’t watch Tuesday….

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      October 4, 2015

      Please watch! We’ve worked hard for these moments and we deserve to be a part of them. Nobody thought we would make the playoffs this year, and we have. The Astros have arrived.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Becky⚾
      October 4, 2015

      You know you will, you cant help it!!

      Like

  39. daveb
    October 4, 2015

    Becky, that Women of Faith conference that you went to, if you had to pay to get in, they should give you your money back.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      October 4, 2015

      Condescending remarks from you are not a surprise to me.

      Like

  40. astrocolt45
    October 4, 2015

    You know how some teams bring in an outfielder to pitch in order to save the bullpen. Write down Qualls and Perez as two outfielders and then it might make sense. They were just saving arms today in case we need others onTuesday.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      October 4, 2015

      Makes sense.

      Like

  41. Zanuda
    October 4, 2015

    0 for 9 with RISP. No wonder we lost. Castro 0 for 4 with 3 K’s, Lowrie 0 for 3 with 3k’s. Can we please get a catcher, 3rd baseman, and 1st baseman that can hit .250 next year. Oh and Becky’s second favorite player (Qualls) can retire. I don’t mind keeping Rasmus but not for 8MM. We’re not in bad shape but need the corner spots taken care of.

    On a positive note, we’re in the playoffs so lets go get them on Tuesday!

    Like

    • Devin_
      October 4, 2015

      I’d re-sign Rasmus for $8 million in a heartbeat…and I’m a cheapskate. He should do better in FA though.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. sandy
    October 4, 2015

    Watching the champagne baths it hit me THE HOUSTON ASTROS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!
    Can you believe that. We’re going to the playoffs.

    Like

  43. Roger
    October 4, 2015

    We should all ENJOY. NY is doing very poorly and we should be able to DO it. Thanks to Chip, Dan P, and Brian T for a great season of columns.

    Like

    • Kevin
      October 4, 2015

      Amen on Playoffs vs loosing a 100 games, to getting real BB players, at 1B , 3rd, and Catcher next year, and to Chip, Dan, Brian, and all of you. This has kept me entertained for 6 months!!
      I love the fact a lot of the time we agree to disagree. Now Beat the Frigging Yankees

      Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      October 4, 2015

      Big thanks to Chip, Dan, and Brian. Also thanks to my fellow bloggers. I would’ve gone crazy this summer without all of you.
      Hope we’ll still be cheering on the Stros into early November.

      Like

  44. Tim
    October 4, 2015

    Today, I would rather be in the Rangers position than the Astros as leaving it up to a 1 game, winner take all is never preferred. With that being said, if the Astros win Tuesday then I much prefer the Astros position than the Rangers. The Royals are a formidable opponent, but they look less foreboding than the Blue Jays.

    Let’s celebrate the first playoff appearance in 10 years. If you asked me in April if I would take this I would have said “Heck yes!”. Anything can happen once you get in and even if the season ends on Tuesday night I’m very happy with the season and the direction they are heading. They finished the regular season winning 6 of their final 8 games and they are playoff bound. Let’s go Astros!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 1oldpro
    October 4, 2015

    It’s hard to believe after such a long time. I have a lot of mixed feelings right now about all the guys that came and went through our system and never got to enjoy this. Hopefully there will be a lot more guys in our system enjoying the successes in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky⚾
      October 4, 2015

      Isn’t it fun!!!

      Like

  46. SargeH
    October 4, 2015

    I forgot, in my excitement, to mention this…

    How many of you were watching the interviews in the clubhouse afterwards and were watching when AJ Hinch described how he loved all of the mother truckers in the room??? That came out crystal…. CRYSTAL clear…. aahhhh, live television without a time delay. My hat is off to him and them. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      October 4, 2015

      Yeah, hard to sensor your words when ice cold champagne is being poured over your head. 😊

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        October 4, 2015

        No need to…..he meant every word, and I’m glad they know how much this season meant to him, and I don’t doubt that he really does love every one of ’em!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Diane
      October 5, 2015

      Yup, I was watching (and listening).

      Like

  47. Becky⚾
    October 4, 2015

    Now….I get to watch the Cowboys. How much more can a girl take??!! Can NOT wait to see the game on ESPN!! I just hope Keuchel has some extra strikeouts hidden in that beard of his!! No matter what, ALL of us are sooo excited for these guys to have come so far this year! When we griped, and moaned about the day to day happenings with this team, they proved that they still have life after the season is over. I couldn’t be more proud of this quirky group of disfunctional, baseball players!! Becky⚾⚾

    Like

  48. Dan P
    October 4, 2015

    This team has been a huge surprise – we fans deserved this that is for sure.
    And I know I speak for Chip.and Brian T in thankng you folks back. You have made it worth our while to write throughout the season. Love y’all and God bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

  49. astrocolt45
    October 4, 2015

    Just for the record, I got on this train a little late but it was back in the (Spit) days. And I found it most interesting to watch player by player during the re-build. Each of us had an opinion or three that this or that should or could have been done – but this has been a very rewarding few years. It is almost like watching your kid (grandkid) take his/her first step.

    If they beat NY, the other blogs will be full of “I knew it all along” and it they lose “They have always been losers.” Thankfully you three write and then tolerate opinions. Most of us honestly state where we were wrong and where it played out like we thought. We get to play General Manager without it costing anything, and unless Chip does it, nobody can fire us. I have enjoyed the ride – though bumpy at times – and look forward to the playoffs, off season, Rule V, and I hope to make it to Florida come Spring. I had this team at .500 for the year. So no one is going to hire me to run their ball club.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      October 5, 2015

      I think if we went back to the spring predictions that almost everyone had them pretty close to .500 within a few games either way. I think if we knew ahead of time how Carter and Valbuena and Gattis would struggle, that Castro would only have 31 RBIs and how much time Springer and Lowrie would miss we would be surprised with 86 wins. But the whole was more than the sum of its parts.

      Like

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