Anatomy of a once-in-a-generation rally

Last Sunday when the Astros headed to the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 7-2 to the Yankees, the only positive thought that most fans could muster was that it could have been so much worse.

  • The Astros only had 4 hits, but due to some muscle on solo home runs from Martin Maldonado and Kyle Tucker, they had two runs, which was two more runs they had accrued in the first two games of the series against the Yanks combined.
  • The Yankees had turned 8 hits, 14 walks, an error on Robel Garcia and 3 wild pitches into only 7 runs. I’m sure there is some stat that says the last time a team lost after receiving 14 walks and 8 runs was the Cleveland Spiders (not the tacky spider stuff) back in 1896.
  • In the first, the Yanks turned two walks, a wild pitch and a single into 0 runs when DJ Lemahieu tried to go from 1st to third on the wild pitch.
  • In the second, the Yanks turned two singles into 0 runs.
  • In the fifth, they turned a single, walk, single with no outs into only one run.
  • In the eighth, they did score 3 runs on two walks and a three-run homer but did not score again after the bases were reloaded with walks.
  • In the ninth, they did not score after two walks with nobody out.

So, the Astros came into the ninth inning lucky to be only down 5, when they could have been down 10. But they also came into the 9th after having pretty much laid down for the Yanks in losing the previous two games 4-0 and 1-0 and putting up minimal effort in the finale. Who would have thought it was time for an Oh My God rally?

After the Yanks scored the three spot in the 8th, I texted my boys “Game over, game over man – Yanks go up 7-2 in the 8th”. I then tuned into the golf tournament. I got bored after about a while and tuned back to the Astros game for the bottom of the 9th.

Yuli Gurriel Yuli led off in a bit of a funk. He was 0 for 3 on the day and 1 for 11 for the series. He opened the rally with a screaming duck that he barely topped, that rolled to a stop at the perfect spot down the third-base line and pocketed by pitcher Domingo German. In the dugout pitching coach Brent Strom (according to Dusty Baker) said this is how rallies begin.

Kyle Tucker – Though he had gone 0 for 3 on Saturday, Tucker had been hitting well lately, having a home run earlier in this game and going 3 for 9 in the series. On a 1-0 pitch he went the other way on a fastball that caught too much of the outside half of the plate and lashed it against the scoreboard in left for a double that moved Yuli to third base.

Dan text – “Astros down 5 with 2 on no out in the 9th” (Note – the kids live up in the Austin area and only can follow most games through me or Gameday on their phones)

Son Adam’s text – “Oh good we can waste some runs”

The Yanks removed Domingo German and replaced him with Chad Green, which they live to regret later.

Chas McCormickChas was playing in his first game in the series and came to the plate after going 0 for 2. On a 1-0 count he barrels up a curveball in the middle of the plate in the lower third and knocks the snot out of it. After it stops bouncing around the outer reaches of the left-center field enclave, Chas is on 2nd and Yuli and Kyle are in the dugout.

Dan’s text – “7-4 no out Chas on 2nd”

Adam’s text – “So the tying run is on deck”

Dan’s text – “Yes and Castro will hit for Robel when we get there”

Abraham ToroToro is up after going 0 for 2 on Sunday and 1 for 8 in the series. He gets ahead 2-1 and then puts a beautiful left-handed uppercut swing on a fastball at the bottom of the zone. The ball looks like it might end up in the Astros bullpen, but bounces off the top of the fence inches away from Aaron Judge‘s glove. Ironically, Judge catches a similar ball in the All Star Game, but he misses this one.

Dan’s series of texts – “Toro doubles” “Almost went out” “Tucker, Chas and Toro all hit off the wall”

Jason CastroCastro went 0-for-3 on Friday and comes off the bench for Robel Garcia, who was 0 for 7 on the series and 1 for his last 25. A good call to pull him. Castro swings at the first pitch and hits a looping single to center. Toro stops at third.

Dan’s text – “Single!”

Adam’s text – “Yankee switching pitchers yet?”

Dan’s text – “They changed to Green earlier. Straw running for Castro.”

Adam’s text – “Can Straw run for Maldy too?”

Martin Maldonado – Martin who was 1 for 6 in the series, but had hit a rare (4 in his career) opposite-field homer earlier in the game comes up to bat. On an 0-1 pitch, he hits a humpback liner to the SS, who tries to drop it on purpose to turn a DP, but the ump says no sir and calls Maldonado out.

Dan’s texts – “Altuve up”

Jose AltuveJose came up after going 0 for 4 for the game and 1 for 11 in the series. But c’mon he’s frigging Jose Altuve who was built for these kinds of moments. He takes a fastball on the outside half of the plate. He takes a curveball tight inside. He then goes down and takes a shin-high curveball (and believe me shin high on Jose is not too far off the ground) into the Crawford Boxes for one of those shining moments in a fan’s following of his favorite team.

More Dan’s texts “Back in May he hit one out on Green” “Yessssss!!!!!!”

Adam’s text – “I’m guessing he hit more than a single”

It was truly one of those plays that gives you shivers. The whole dugout exploded onto the field and fans who thought they had wasted their ticket money 20 minutes before were celebrating like it was a World Series win. He did it against the team that baselessly accused him of cheating to win the ALCS. He did it in the clutch and he let his teammates tear that jersey off this time. What a blast!!!!


35 comments on “Anatomy of a once-in-a-generation rally

  1. The Yankees’ fans are always classless. Normally the Yankee players have some class. In this series, the players acted like their fans. And they did win 2 of 3. But the wooden stake to the heart was delivered by Jose and he acted with class to include the post game interview. As Ole Diz would say “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And tonight, Corey Lee hit a Texas Leaguer to win a Texas League game vs. San Antonio in extra innings in the Texas League. He and Marty Costas are hitting .300 or better. And Sugar Land continues to have Jake Meyers, Bryan de la Cruz, and Jose Siri hitting over .300. I still don’t see much pitching help from either staff.


  3. A game like that can become the signature game of a great season. I’m remembering a game in Minnesota in 2017 where we had a huge late rally, but not a walkoff win. Plus, your post reminded me of something I experienced in youth and haven’t thought about in years: a Little League game where my team got behind 20-0 in the first inning and we finally won 21-20. Probably even more more exhilirating as an adult memory than it was as a kid moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to a UH – Arkansas basketball game in 1976 when Arkansas had the triplets Moncrief, Delph and Brewer. They were beating UH by 19 or 20 at half time, but UH came back to win by one point in a game that only ended up 72-71. Pretty amazing comeback.


  4. There were too many Yankee fans in the park. In the middle of the 8th, my brother got up to use the restroom. Three rows behind us on the aisle was a particularly loud one. He dogged my brother for leaving early. And my brother could only smile, not because he was expecting a comeback, but what do you say to an obnoxious guy in that damn Yankee cap. But in the 9th, we kept looking at the guy as he squirmed. We smiled, at this point with real hope. And when Altuve won it, he was long gone. A wonderful euphoric moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yankee fans on their blog were mad at Boone for leaving Green in the game.
    Other Yankee fans were blaming Green himself and others were moaning about Losaigia being injured.
    I think Boone put Green in there because it was the bottom of the order coming up with a big lead. He never figured the Astros would ever make it to Altuve in the lineup. Once Boone realized the Yankees were in trouble, he didn’t have the confidence in his closer to put him in there.
    The bottom line is: the Yankees Fans were willing to heap blame on their team, when it was the Astros who took it from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The New York Post had a scathing article about last Sunday’s game, it was AWESOME! They ripped Boone, they ripped Greene, they ripped ownership and it was absolutely delicious…they didn’t rip Altuve!! I think I’ve listened to Robert Ford call that walk off at least 10 times, he said “Astros win” 5 times!
    I don’t know if you guys saw this, but Pete Soloman took a no hitter through six innings last week in AAA It will be interesting to see how he did when their season is over! Click has ONE job by the end of this month, and that’s to get another GOOD reliever. ONE JOB! MLB trade rumors has Craig Kimbrel going to us….as a pure set up guy or a closer when Presley isn’t available. Who, or what do you guys think of it…or do you see a better option??
    One more day before we get real baseball back⚾! I can’t WAIT!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, and Baez is assigned to low A. One inning, 1 hit, 11 pitches, 8 for strikes. This is double positive news!

    On the Yankee front, they have already started bringing guys in from AAA. My guess is that they’ll play tonight, unless there are additional positive cases from either club today.


  8. Let’s see, old pro
    – Good news that Correa is activated
    – Good news if they make Yanks play with AAA guys
    – And who doesn’t love a big plate of Sp(encer) A(rri)getti?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. With the continued booing of the Astros, it has caused me to take some really deep thoughts. These other fans, especially the Yankee fans, are correct. Even though it has been a few years and 90 of the cheaters now are out of baseball or play for other teams, there is no reason to forgive nor forget. So with some prayers and thoughts, starting tonight I will be booing the entire game right at my TV when any of the White Sox come to bat or make a play. Let’s not forget it has been a short 102 years since the Black Sox scandal. We need to continue to boo the Black Sox. Sure Shoeless Joe has been dead for 70 years, but that doesn’t matter. And Eddie Cicotte has a WAR of 59 someplace in his career. So it is obvious he didn’t throw every game. No matter. Let Bygones be Bygones is just a cliche. Let’s all of us Boo Boo tonight and the entire series.


  10. On a more serious note, MILB TV shows it will allow everyone to watch any minor league games through Sunday for FREE. If you look, you can actually go back and watch any game this season on the schedule. And if you are ADD like me, you can watch past games quickly by clicking on “Add 15 seconds” between pitches and you will see that in the minors, 15 seconds is about how much time is between pitches. And 8 to 10 clicks skips the time between innings. Some of the games have terrible camera work and others are great. Enjoy.


  11. Nice win for the Astros – Lance gives up 2 hits and a run in his first 2 pitches then goes 7 innings of hitless ball.
    Big homer by Uncle Mike, 2 run double by Yuli and huge bases clearing double by Straw.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. When the fans boo our team and we kick their team’s ass, it doubles my pleasure when that last out is recorded.
    Now, imagine how much it must pleasure our team when it happens. The best kind of payback.
    Jed Lowrie just hit a two-run walkoff homer for Oakland in the bottom of the
    ninth to beat the Indians, 5-4.
    Seattle just beat the Angels 6-5.

    Liked by 1 person

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