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

  1. 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!

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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    • 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.

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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

  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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.

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  14. 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.😠😠😠

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  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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  19. 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!

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  20. 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.

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    • 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

    • 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.

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  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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⚾⚾

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  25. 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

  26. 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

    • 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.

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