The week of 10-8 through 10-14 in review
The Astros played three games this week and had mixed, but mostly positive results. On Monday they completed a sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS with an 11-3 pounding that was a 2-1 deficit heading into the 7th inning. They combined bad fielding by pitcher Trevor Bauer with bad pitching by Bauer to take a 4-2 lead and then piled on with 6 runs in the 8th and 1 in the 9th. In the first game of the ALCS against the Red Sox, the Astros held a 3-2 lead (where both teams had only 2 hits) headed into the 9th, when a huge HR by Josh Reddick and a squibber 3 run HR by Yuli Gurriel helped them to a 7-2 win over Boston behind strong pitching by Justin Verlander and the bullpen. Their starting pitching let them down on Sunday as Gerritt Cole gave up 5 runs (4 earned) and the Astros came up short 7-5.
The week of 10-15 through 10-21 in a preview
The Astros could clinch another trip to the World Series by taking the next three games at home on Tuesday through Thursday. If neither team sweeps these games they will return to Boston for games on Saturday and Sunday, if needed. The Astros really need to take advantage of the home field as the Red Sox’s Sunday win rejuvenated a 108 win team that had to be doubting themselves a bit. The starters for game 3 and 4 are Dallas Keuchel, who will be facing a right-centric lineup and Charlie Morton, who is a question mark relative to how rusty he will be coming back from injury and lack of use. Game 5 has not been announced, but it must be Verlander in a game they must have no matter what happens in the next couple of games.
Player of the Week:
This needs to be the guy who stunk up the 2017 playoffs until he became the World Series MVP, George Springer. He had 2 RBIs in each of the three games this week with two HRs and two doubles thrown in the mix. He has been the Astros most consistent weapon as Jose Altuve gets himself out and Alex Bregman gets pitched around and takes walks.
Pop Song That Never Gets Played on the Radio
“Bad Time” by Grand Funk Railroad – This song rose to #4 on the Billboard on the Hot 100 back in 1975, but you would never know it from its total absence from the radio waves. Written by Mark Farner while he was going through a divorce, the music is a lot more joyous than the lyrics, but a really solid pop song with a catchy hook.
Back to baseball: By this time next week we will know if the Astros move on to a second consecutive WS or head home for the winter. Which way do you think it will go and what are the keys for this week?