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Astros heading into the playoffs: It just doesn’t matter!


In his first real starring role, back in 1979, Bill Murray goes out on a limb and plays a comical, slacker, non-conformance camp counselor in the movie Meatballs. At one point Murray gives a “motivational” speech to the kids from his lower middle class, everyman camp for their upcoming competition with the high end, privileged camp, Mohawk.

“Sure, Mohawk has beaten us twelve years in a row. Sure, they’re terrific athletes. They’ve got the best equipment that money can buy. Hell, every team they’re sending over here has their own personal masseuse, not masseur, masseuse. But it doesn’t matter. Do you know that every Mohawk competitor has an electrocardiogram, blood and urine tests every 48 hours to see if there’s any change in his physical condition? Do you know that they use the most sophisticated training methods from the Soviet Union, East and West Germany, and the newest Olympic power Trinidad-Tobago? But it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER. I tell you, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!”

In some ways, this summarizes what the Astros attitude should be heading into the 2017 playoffs – IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!

  1. If they can’t surpass the Indians for the best record in the majors, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!
  2. If they have to play a taxi tested tough Yankees team coming off a wild card win, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!
  3. If they have to play a Minnesota Twin team that has battled their way into the wild card, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!
  4. If they have to play the Red Sox immediately after playing them in the last series of the season, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!
  5. If they have to play the unbeatable, twenty-two wins in a row Indians to go to the World Series, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!
  6. And if they have to play the Dodgers, Nats, D’Backs, Cubs or whoever to win their first WS, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!

The Astros know that no matter how they go at this, they will play three very good-to-great teams if they are going to win the first Houston MLB baseball championship, and it does not matter what order or where they play them. They just have to go out and win eleven games starting next Thursday and they will stand on top of the baseball world.

They just have to win eleven playoff games. Nothing else matters….

 

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

133 comments on “Astros heading into the playoffs: It just doesn’t matter!

  1. daveb7
    October 1, 2017

    In retrospect, it’s easy now to say that McCullers was rushed to the Majors. But at the same time, it’s possible, probable, he would have developed the beginnings of the same injury history while still in the minors. I still think that’s the significant issue with the kid. He’s never been healthy enough to fully develop his game. None of us know what specifically his issues are, because that’s the way this club operates. All I know is that when he is on a roll, he’s as a tough as most any number two starter in the game. And right now he’ll keep a playoff job, if only in a Devenski type role, which is fine for me. I really wonder what is ahead this winter for the kid. Some kind of corrective surgery?

    Like

  2. Kevin
    October 1, 2017

    I still in my old gut believe there is a lot more to LMJ’s stuff than just Pitching. He is far from the first baseball player to have great talent and not the mental side of being “THAT GUY” . I’m with OP here next year start him in AAA, see if he can actually become a consistent professional ball player, in all aspects of that word professional.

    Like

    • Devin
      October 1, 2017

      He has had a couple blowups, but we’re not talking about a Tim Redding/Jared Cosart type of headcase here. I think you give him some years to mature and stop worrying. I’m sure he wants a ring more than to be a playoff starter… he’s already done that. If he never stays healthy you tip your hat to his effort and wish him well.

      Like

  3. 1oldpro
    October 1, 2017

    I have never said LMJ was a headcase. What I have said is that he is not fully developed as a pitcher and should go to AAA and work on it. Peacock is a lot older and took a lot longer but is finally there. Why not try to get LMJ over the last hurdle with some time in AAA to master his craft without all the pressure?

    Like

    • Grayson
      October 1, 2017

      Doubt seriously his agent would cotton to that kind of demotion! If the Stros intimate he’s headed to the minor leagues, it’ll be messy (I think).

      Headcase is a general term. Specifically, he’s super amped up, and lacks the quiet, workmanlike maturity. Do your job, Pal – you’re just another cog in the machine.

      Going into a game vs a potent offense, my leash extends this far:

      Verlander and Keuchel can go complete games if somewhere in 100 pitch range. Try the hook on one of those guys in a 90 pitch count, headed to the 9th of shutout playoff baseball.

      Peacock can go 6+
      Morton, 5
      McQ, 4
      McCullers, 3
      Musgrove, 3
      Devenski, 3
      Martes, 2+ (possible)
      Liriano, 2 (possible)

      This makes for the BOR to be piggy back candidates in a 5-gm series.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        October 1, 2017

        I have heard Hinch asked about tandem starters in the playoffs twice in the last week and he has said no both times and gave his reasons for not wanting to do that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        October 1, 2017

        LMJ’s agent doesn’t tell the Astros what to do with their players. Right now, getting LMJ’s mechanics and command issues straightened out while he his being paid the rookie minimum is helping guarantee that his agent will make a lot more money if LMJ becomes the pitcher that everyone has hoped for. He’ll never be a cash cow if he doesn’t become a reliable TOR starter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grayson
        October 1, 2017

        https://climbingtalshill.com/2017/10/01/projecting-astros-alds-roster/amp/3/

        This is going to be very difficult!

        The guys closest to making it, different from this list (imho) are; Hoyt and Martes.

        The candidates for being dropped in that case are; LMJ, Fisher, Maybin, McQ, Liriano and Centeno.

        What are your choices?

        Like

      • Grayson
        October 1, 2017

        Sure enough, McHugh’s 52nd pitch in the 4th inning turns out to be a flat cookie for Devers.

        If he could figure out a way to finish that frame scoreless, we could bridge the game to a setup man.

        That’s the only solution in my mind, or we get the very same Hinch singing Collin’s praises right in the midst of his weaker inning!

        I’m turning the game off, getting excited about our strengths and the next Red Sox game. But my opinion of the fringe starters is the same. I’m really only confident in the top 3. The others need their velocity, command and peripherals watched closely as the lineups turn over a third time.

        Like

      • sargeh
        October 1, 2017

        My concern about McCullers is his health. He has been on the temporarily inactive list or disabled list every year except for 2015. So, out of six total seasons of pro ball, he has missed time in five of them. He might not be built for a season of starting but, instead, a season of high end relief.

        Like

    • Devin
      October 1, 2017

      I just don’t see it. If it is mechanical tinkering to keep him healthier that is one conversation, but there is nothing for him to do at AAA. The off-season is a good time to work on the change-up.

      Like

  4. Becky⚾
    October 1, 2017

    Last game of the regular season folks, and WHAT a season it’s been! I gotta pinch myself everyday, thinking where these guys have been, and where they are today!!
    I have to admit, I didn’t think our guys would be where they are today, October 1st 2017!! It’s been a truly MAGICAL year, and even if they don’t bring the big prize home, I couldn’t be more proud of them! This team carried me all summer when some of my days were dark, and painful. They lifted my spirits when all I could do is listen to the games. I must admit Robert Ford brought the games to ME, with every pitch and every awesome homerun! It’s been the most wonderful year to be an Astros fan, and a Chipalatta family member! Let’s hope they win this last game and they fly back home with a big old TEXAS size smile on their faces!! GO ‘STROS!! Becky⚾

    Liked by 2 people

  5. daveb7
    October 1, 2017

    I feel pretty good about Lance playing a positive role in the post season, regardless of what it is. As much as I’ve continued to harp on Peacock having more value out of the pen, I think today I’d go wiith him and McHugh, if only for Collin’s big game poise in the past, as our 3 and 4 playoff starters. I almost went with Morton, but he might give us seven K’s in three innings out of the pen when we really need a shutdown guy. What’s great is that Devenski and LMC can be those guys too.

    I also feel pretty good about the fact that our Texans seem to have our first real QB of the future in quite a few years. He’s sure taking pressure off the defense. This is becoming a fun team to watch.

    Back to baseball.

    Like

  6. Becky⚾
    October 1, 2017

    Everyone of these guys were either here or with another club during the playoffs in 2015, so they absolutely know what it’s like, and I really like our chances! And Dallas Keuchel will be the first to say, Verlander should start the game on Thursday. The first game is sooo important, and Verlander should be the guy hands down.
    Daveb…..I don’t watch football, but I did see the score walking through our Den!
    My husband is pleased!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim
    October 1, 2017

    The start times for games 1 and 2 have been announced. Thursday will be a 3:07 PM start and Friday will be a 1:05 PM start. These are both CDT.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      October 1, 2017

      Thanks!! I had heard on our local news the first one would be Thurs night.

      Like

  8. 1oldpro
    October 1, 2017

    Wasn’t today’s game wonderful. It’s probably the most relaxed I have been during a game all year.
    And the Young Astros scored late and won the game just like the regular Astros do.
    I am so proud of this team.
    As a fan, this has been my favorite year ever.

    Like

  9. astrocolt45
    October 1, 2017

    With the playoffs starting, may I insert a thought with a little perspective. When the Dallas Cowboys won their first Super Bowl, Duane Thomas their head case RB refused to speak to the media. When asked why he behaved in that manner with the pinnacle game on the line. His quote:” “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?”

    Like

  10. Mr. Bill
    October 2, 2017

    Congratulations, Astros [and long-suffering Astros fans like us!] Well done!

    I am out of the country, halfway around the world, through the playoffs. In many ways it is a blessing, and I am thankful. But it means I will be unable to watch, hear, or otherwise keep up with the games that I have waited since my seventh year in 1962 to watch. So dear brothers and sisters, please post as much as possible here of your impressions of each game as it is happening – so I can relive this magical time through the eyes of friends when I get internet access late, late, late in your evening.

    Like

    • daveb7
      October 2, 2017

      Bill, one thing you might enjoy is going to the MILB.com website and watching the condensed version of each game. It’s basicallly 15 to 20 minutes of all the plays that most impact a contest, no commentary, no commercial interruption. And you can watch it without knowing the outcome of the game beforehand. Have a great journey.

      Like

  11. daveb7
    October 2, 2017

    Bill, MLB website. No need to watch minor league ball this time of year. Darn that auto correct. I have enough trouble on my own!

    Like

  12. 1oldpro
    October 2, 2017

    I woke up to the news in Las Vegas and I have to admit that I must hide behind baseball this morning. I really need it.
    – The Astros have had weapons all year long to carry this team. One of the advantages they have is a lineup that can hurt you from top to bottom. A pitcher can dominate eight guys in the lineup, but if you have nine weapons and one of them happens to be able to read that pitcher well, you have four chances out of that lineup spot to do damage. We have the core, like most teams do, but we have Yuli and Marwin and Josh and the catchers that can hurt you anytime, too.
    – The Astros have Verlander and Keuchel, but Peacock is 13-2 and Morton is 14-7. That is a pretty awesome top 4 starters. McCullers is 7-4 and McHugh is 5-2. Every one of them has given up less hits than innings pitched and five of them don’t have ERAs even close to 4.00. LMJ’s ERA is 4.25.
    – Did you realize that Evan Gattis hit .263 this season and had more RBIs (55) than strikeouts (50)?
    – The Astros won 3 out of four games each in Boston and New York.
    – The Astros finished the regular season with the highest Team BA in baseball at .282 and finished second in home runs at 238, 3 behind the Yankees.

    Like

  13. Billy Castillo
    October 2, 2017

    Angel Hernandez is going to be one of the umpires for this series. Sigh.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      October 2, 2017

      Absolutely one of THE WORST umpires in MLB.

      Like

  14. sargeh
    October 2, 2017

    Who is y’all’s pick for the game one starter? Mine is Verlander.

    Like

    • Zanuda
      October 2, 2017

      Agree.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      October 2, 2017

      Keeping with the storyline, it doesn’t matter!
      Just kidding. I would go with Verlander. That’s why we traded for him.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      October 2, 2017

      Of course! Even Keuchel would tell you that.

      Like

  15. Tim
    October 2, 2017

    Here’s something just to whet your appetite for the upcoming playoffs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky⚾
      October 2, 2017

      That was soooo *delicious*!!

      Like

  16. Becky⚾
    October 2, 2017

    OP……this was my favorite year as well! For me it was the unbelievable excitement of hearing Luhnow had pulled off the Verlander trade! We knew before the trade that the Astros were gonna win the AL West, but I was panicking that behind Keuchel everything was kinda iffy. We didn’t know about McCullers, and McHugh had just come back with no guarantees. Morton and Peacock were holding the rotation down with spit, but we didn’t have that LOCK DOWN pitcher. So when we got Verlander my hopes for the playoffs were SKY HIGH!! This team is gonna be a force to be reckoned with! We got the hitters, and now we have the pitchers! Oh yeah….this is MY favorite year TOO, and I can NOT wait for Thursday afternoon!! GO ‘STROS⚾!

    Like

  17. roadthriller
    October 3, 2017

    Playoff picks:
    Twins and D’backs
    Indians over Twins
    Astros over Red Sox
    Astros over Indians
    D’backs over Dodgers
    Nats over Cubs
    Nats over D’backs
    Astros over Nats
    And our 56 season drought ends!

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2017 by in Astros.
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