View Full Version : Astros finish is unbelievable

10-03-2004, 08:20 AM
The Astros are 35-10 since August 15th, that is the 2nd best winning % in that time span in the history of the league. :wow

Last offseason the Astros made what seemed to be all the right moves to finally get the Astros over the hump in the post season, by bringing The Rocket and Pettitte to Houston, but as the seaon progressed, the injuries mounted up and the Astros were a below 500 team. We lost Pettitte( our Ace) and Wade, (2 of our top 4 pitchers) for the season. I was giving up on them as were everyone else. The Belran trade looked good at first, but even he seemed to stop producing, but then came the best turn around that I have seen and I am pumped up. I have Boston and Houston entered in the dance contest. (Thank God for the wild card race) The wild card teams are actually playing the best baseball sine mid August so it would suprise nobody if we had two wild card teams at the biggest dance of all going at each other.
There is a lot of credit to be given out for this resurgance of Houston, most of all, I give credit to Gerry Hunsicker, the GM.
Where would this team be without Mike Lamb, Brandon Backe and Pete Munro? They were brought in under the radar, but they have been huge.
He made sure the Beltran deal didn't fall through, by making sure your counterpart from Oakland didn't back out of the trade. He gave up his closer, Octavio Dotel, because he knew his pitching staff deserved a better center fielder in Beltran, so he made the deal, and it worked out better than anyone ever imagined. Houston's pitchers and Astros' fans are very grateful for this trade. Hunsicker is one of the top three general managers in the game, no F-ing doubt year.
Rarely does a legend live up to the hype, but Clemmens actually surpassed all the expectations this season. He will win his 7th Cy Young Award because he deserves it. With better defensive and offensive support, he would have already won 24 games.Ther Rocket proudly served as the ambassador for the city during the All-Star Game, and there couldn't have been a better representative. In a clubhouse that has lacked much passion for years, his attitude raised the intensity when it needed it(I love this guy, even if he is s Tea sipper:)). Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman have been the Astros' only consistent hitters this year, each driving in more than 100 runs.( Jeff Kent just broke the record for 2nd basemen for career HRs. Brad Lidge didn't miss a step after taking over for Dotel. You have become one of the best closers, if not the best in baseball, which is why the Astros head into the final game of the season this afternoon with something to play for. Jeff Bagwell is the soul of the Astros, a man who never made alibis, he could have made excuses for himself, but that isn't part of his personality. He leaves the whining to others, preferring instead to lead by example. And Biggio is coming on strong now too, with 2 HRs yesterday and almost having a 3rd.
All the pieces fell into place, now it time to see if the playoffs this time will be more of the same, one and done, or whether this great ride will continue for another 2-3 wks.

10-03-2004, 06:21 PM
The Astros have taken the Wild Card! (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=241003118)


HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros charged into the playoffs with their 18th consecutive home victory, capping an incredible turnaround by beating Colorado 5-3 Sunday to win the NL wild card.

Brandon Backe filled in admirably for an ailing Roger Clemens, pitching five strong innings and driving in two runs.

Houston won the final seven games of the regular season and nine of the last 10 to complete an amazing late-season push for the playoffs under manager Phil Garner, who replaced Jimy Williams at the All-Star break.

The Astros will go to Atlanta for Game 1 of the division series on Wednesday -- the Braves have eliminated Houston three times in the last seven postseasons.

After the final pitch, Houston's players ran out of the dugout to meet near the mound for hugs and high-fives while red and white confetti rained down on the fans. Garner was a bit slower onto the field, walking on the grass with a big smile and a tip of his cap toward the stands.

Eventually, Garner and his team donned silver-and-white caps with the Astros' shooting star logo and the words "Wild Card" in capital letters.

The Astros were a season-worst 56-60 on Aug. 14 -- four days later they lost star pitcher Andy Pettitte to season-ending elbow surgery. But they rallied and won an exciting stretch duel with San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego.

Houston earned its seventh playoff berth, first as a wild card -- and the Astros are in great shape going into the playoffs. Clemens can start Game 1 on full rest as long as he's recovered from a stomach virus, and 20-game winner Roy Oswalt would be ready to follow.

It's the second straight year an NL team replaced its manager in the middle of the season and went on to win the wild card. Jack McKeon led the Marlins to a surprising World Series title in 2003.

A championship for the Astros would be nearly as stunning, considering most people counted them out in August. Houston has never won a postseason series in 42 years of existence.

The Astros' win eliminated San Francisco in the race for baseball's final playoff spot this year. When the final score was posted by itself in large letters on the scoreboard at Dodger Stadium, where the Giants were playing, the crowd cheered.

Giants star Barry Bonds went down the line in the dugout, slapping palms with teammates, then grabbed his bats and was pulled from the game in the fourth inning. [Ed. note: Suck it, Barry.]

Houston tied a season high Sunday with four stolen bases -- even the plodding Jeff Bagwell got one. The Astros used seven pitchers for the second time in three days, and Brad Lidge got his 29th save to put the finishing touches on a day that began with concerns about Clemens.

The Rocket was all set to start on three days' rest, but he was scratched in the morning after coming down with a stomach virus overnight. Backe, whose six career wins are 322 fewer than Clemens, wasn't told he was going to start until about two hours before the game.

Backe was barely challenged by Jamey Wright and the Rockies.

Wright (2-3) went only four innings, allowing five runs and five hits. He dropped to 0-10 in 15 appearances against the Astros, including 14 starts.

Backe, an outfielder in Tampa Bay's minor league system for his first three years, had a two-run single in the second to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

The Astros added three runs in the third on Lance Berkman's RBI double, and run-scoring singles by Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino.

From there, the game almost had the feeling of a coronation: a video montage of the Astros' run to the playoffs played on the Jumbotron between innings and the sellout crowd gave the team a standing ovation after every inning.

The crowd cheered wildly again when Backe left in the sixth after allowing singles to Royce Clayton and Todd Helton. Backe doffed his cap to the fans as he made his way to the dugout.

Colorado scored twice, but Chad Qualls got out of the inning.

Game notes
Since Aug. 14, Houston is a major league-best 36-10. ... The Astros' 18-game home winning streak is the longest in the majors in 10 years. Cleveland won 18 straight at Jacobs Field from May 13 to June 19, 1994. ... With sellout crowd No. 24, the Astros set a franchise record for attendance (3,087,872). ... The Rockies finished with nine losses in their last 10 games en route to the second-worst record (68-94) in franchise history. Only the expansion team in 1993 was worse at 67-95.

10-03-2004, 06:38 PM
so are the giants out then?

Marcus Bryant
10-03-2004, 08:09 PM
Simply awesome. Now they face the Braves in the playoffs. Again.

10-03-2004, 08:25 PM
Fortunately, this year they don't have to face Maddox and Glavine. Those guys owned us.

I'm just not as intimidated by Jared Wright and Russ Ortiz.

Das Texan
10-03-2004, 08:43 PM
the astros have clemens and oswalt to throw at people.

not a bad 1-2 punch.

10-03-2004, 09:10 PM
Atlanta's dominance against the Astros is over. This is a lot better team than in 01, and Atlanta does not have the Astro Killers in Glavine nd Madox, but stil have Smoltz. Bobby Cox has proved once and for all that he is the best mnger in baseball, but this is Houston's year in NL, ad like the Marlins last year, they will ride a great finish, to success in divisional series ad NLCS.

10-03-2004, 09:25 PM
Don't feel bad about giving up on them, there was absolutely no reason to think this type of miraculous finish was even possible. Nothing less than a F-ing 36-10 finish gets them in? Something very special is happening, even a bad break stomach virus for Clemens today turns out to be a perfect situation for the playoffs. How many amazing things have to happen to even get this far... Backe, Qualls, Harville, Lamb, the list goes on- and Lidge went from setup man to the nastiest closer in the National League. Much respect and credit to Phil Garner- he took a flatlining team and changed the attitude and culture in the clubhouse- it would not have happened without him. Nothing short of amazing.

10-03-2004, 09:38 PM
Garner gets lot of the credit, but I give most to Lidge and Clemmens.

10-03-2004, 10:11 PM
Garner was the difference mainly because he was not Jimy Williams.

Addition by subtraction.