Sports Illustrated reputation is on the line in ALCS


Sports Illustrated’s reputation is on the line tonight at Minute Maid Park in Houston!

Here we are — Game 7 of the ALCS — but the Astros still haven’t arrived. Unfortunately, the season may feel like a lost season if the Astros don’t raise a pennant flag tonight.

Despite Justin Verlander and Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, the season comes down to Charlie Morton. And Lance McCullers Jr. And Brad Peacock.  And Collin McHugh. And Dallas Keuchel. And Ken Giles. And anyone else warming a seat in the MMP bullpen this weekend. (Heck, I wouldn’t rule out a cameo appearance by Verlander himself.)

It’s an all-hands-on-deck Game 7. And, just for the record, the Astros are 0-1 in championship series Game 7s.

Much will be written, discussed, bandied about, lamented and shouted about tomorrow morning. And for years to come. And there will be questions if the Astros lose tonight. But, for now, the big questions are these:

  • Who will be the Roger Clemens of 2017?
  • Who will replace Lance Berkman, Chris Burke and Brad Ausmus as heros?
  • Does the offensive mojo return for a ALCS grand finale?
  • Can A.J. Hinch push the right buttons at the right time?
  • Where is Carlos Beltran?
  • Does anyone miss Tal’s Hill? (The 400-foot bomb that Springer caught last night was just a long fly ball out in the old park.)
  • How close was the Verlander trade to the deadline? First it was “close”, then five minutes, then two minutes to spare. Last night, the story was “two seconds” before the deadline.
  • Reckon A.J. would let me coach third base tonight? (Gary Pettis doesn’t seem to have a clue!)
  • If Joey Cora leaves for Boston, does Brad Ausmus replace him and sit next to Hinch as bench coach in 2018?

There will be other questions tomorrow, regardless of the outcome tonight. Some of those questions may not be pretty, others will have obvious answers.

For now, bask in the limelight of the biggest baseball game of the Astros’ season on this otherwise NCAA football Saturday.

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63 comments on “Sports Illustrated reputation is on the line in ALCS

  1. Tonight is a defining moment for the franchise. They have so many times been close, but no cigar. It is time for a different ending. Maybe the new heroes are line drive machine Yuli Gurriel and youngster Joe Musgrove. Maybe Morton pitches in much better luck today. Maybe Altuve and Correa crank up the offense again.
    This is a tough situation but these men have been resilient. I expect a tough street fight and a win.

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  2. If Morton pitches as well as he did in New York, we’ll be in good shape. On offense, we’ve got to make the 300 pounder work hard early. I wouldn’t mind seeing multiple bunt base hits. Bring him down off the mound. Work long counts. Make him sweat. Do everything to make his life more difficult. And then make their pen go to work early!

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    • Agreed daveb7, there should be a strategy on CC. Working the count early may be the best approach! Just not sure we’ve seen a cohesive strategy in the series. The excitement of Altuve, the bulldog “you ain’t scoring” approach of Verlander and a few other high points have carried the team into Game 7. If the Astros go home tonight, unfortunately, the monkey may go home on Hinch’s back.

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      • I’m also worried about Gary Pettis’ judgment – twice in this series he has sent runners dead to rights home and twice he was bailed out by Gary Sanchez bobbles. Last night Yuli wouldf have been out by a mile. There is aggressive and then there is insane.

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  3. Another thing about Sabathia. He has been lights out in his 14 regular season wins, with a 1.008 WHIP and a 1.48 ERA. But there is hope.

    In his 5 losses, he’s 1.676 and 8.34.
    in his 8 no decisions, he’s 1.598 and 5.75.

    So he has been very beatable in almost half his games. We’ve got to create one of those nights tonight.

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  4. DanP I live up in rangers country and that was always the knock on Gary Pettis when he was their 3rd base coach. I like an aggressive style but you cannot get thrown out at the plate.
    I think when it comes down to everything else you couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than a game 7 at MMP. It’s just too bad we don’t have Keuchel or Verlander for this one. Regardless it’s going to be fun!

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    • Robert I agree he takes risks but I got so tired of Dave Clark holding runners at 3rd on a double I would take anyone. I also think Gary has been bailed out by slides of Springer, Jake, and Altuve, so he thinks everyone will make it.

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  5. Springer made such a huge defensive play – I sure hope he can throttle that swing back just a tad and actually hit something other than a weak grounder to the left side. And sure could use something/ anything from Reddick.

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  6. Thank you, Jose, Carlos, Carlos, George, Justin, Dallas, Chris, Joe, Charlie, Josh, Alex, Collin, Lance, Brian, AJ, Jeff……..no matter the outcome, for a beautiful season.

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  7. I missed peeps, forgive me. All I ask is that you go out tonight, not for pressure or for money, but just to have fun, if you can remember when you were a kid. All of us fans are just kids, trying to remember.

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  8. This has been a great season and this game is the one to win from my perspective. I almost think of the World Series as icing on the cake with the cake being the American League pennant. For me winning the league championship shows your team was good all year long. It’s winning the marathon. The Series is a nice epilogue and it would be great to smack the Dodgers but I’ll happily wear a t-shirt proclaiming the Astros American League champions.

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  9. Bregman back in the two hole, and Reddick hitting 9th. We need BOTH of those two bats to starting hitting tonight. They used Green for 2+innings last night, and Robertson couldn’t record an out…….with every starter available tonight, I like our chances. Don’t get me wrong……I’m a nervous wreck, but I do feel like if our guys make Sabathia work, they can break through tonight. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed until they turn purple until the 27th out is made tonight!
    ********************GO ‘STROS*****************⚾!!

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  10. our lineup has seen sabathia once now, I think they will handle him better tonite. Morton has pitched pretty well for us, I hope for 4+ good innings from him.
    green threw 37 pitches last nite, robertson enough that he can’t go but about 20 or so tonite, so if we do get to sabathia by the 4th or 5th, the yankees could start to get squeezed in the pen if anybody else has a bad or short outing.
    if our offense stays alive, its on to la la land.

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  11. The Astros calling card all season has been their hitting. Sabathia has only pitched 2 games in Minute Maid, for 12-2/3 IP, giving up 8 runs and 4 HR. I think the guys remembered how fun the game is when their bats woke up last night. Yes, I think we get them tonight, cuz home field is gonna be huge.

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  12. Chip, it would be just lovely to see some patience and discipline at the plate by our guys, at least Springer shortened his swing and was rewarded with a base hit. Ready to see those bats break out this evening. Anxious to see how we look the 2nd time around

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    • It’s funny I had just texted my son’s that the next thing they were going to tell us was how many times the Yankees had come back from 4-0 in their 115 year playoff history and here they come with how the Yanks are the only ones to come back in a 7th game.

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    • I’d pay someone to yank Joe Buck’s, tongue out! I’m listening to 790 am in one ear, and I have an ear plug in my other ear! My husband enjoys the idiots on the television, NOT ME.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh man…I’m shaking worse than Rod Stewart judging a beauty pageant. 3 more innings. Please please please please please please please please please please please please ok that’s enough pleases…here’s one more…PLEASE let us hold on to this.

    Liked by 1 person

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