Houston Astros: Three reasons why you’ll see the toughest October ever

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 17: Jose Altuve /
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ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 27: Justin Verlander
ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 27: Justin Verlander /

Fasten Your Seatbelts. It’s Going to Be A Bumpy Ride.

I’m no fortune-teller. So don’t ask me anything about how rich you’ll be in ten years or when will your wife realize you were not the one for her. But I do know there is no easy path to the World Series. However, if I could give predict a random trail for the Houston Astros this season. It would go like this.

  1. Houston beats Boston in four or five games in the ALDS.
  2. Cleveland has to wait until year 70 before they win it all because the Houston Astros defeated them in a six or seven game ALCS.
  3. The Dodgers become La La Land or Fantasy World when Houston shocks them in five.

Sounds like a bold prediction if you ask me. I’m sure most everyone would have different picks. You already have Nick Swisher wanting a rematch of last year’s World Series, which would be fine. You got people wanting a Red Sox-Yankees ALCS, which is also fine. It doesn’t seem like the Dodgers would get to the World Series according to some while the Cubs have a chance to repeat in a few eyes.

But not surprisingly, no one seems to have us winning it all. Is it because we’re not ready according to the so-called “experts”? Is it not our year just yet? Or is it because people want to throw out easy teams to win it all just to feed the markets?

Whatever reason combined with the teams, this will be the hardest October to date.

My Octobers

For me, the 90’s were hard years to swallow. As a kid, seeing the Houston Astros lose to the Braves and Padres was devastating. However, looking back, it didn’t hurt me because outside of 1998, I felt we weren’t the best team in the National League.

The mid-2000’s were also tough for me. To go from a tough seven-game loss to St. Louis in the 2004 NLCS to being swept by the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series is painful enough. However, it didn’t hurt me as much because I still consider those good seasons that we didn’t have the breaks go our way.

Then there’s 2015. Losing the way we did to Kansas City stung me. It really did. Yet, I don’t consider that a heartbreaking loss because nobody expected us to be there, including ourselves. Yes, we blew an opportunity to go on, but given the fact that we were ahead of schedule on our return trip to glory, it was a huge stepping stone.

Why 2017? Why Now?

Why do I feel this October will be the toughest one to date? How many times do you ever hear about the Houston Astros being World Series contenders at the beginning of a season? Perhaps three times in a lifetime. Maybe it might happen six or seven times in my life.

But seriously? No one until this year saw us as contenders. With Sports Illustrated declaring us as World Series champions for this year in 2014, there is a sense that October will be hard. With the competition in the playoffs this season, October won’t be easy as pie. Give us a storyline of a team trying to bring some glory to Houston after Harvey, you’ll have October trying to either let us have it or deny us the chance to have a Hollywood finish.

We’ve seen what Charlie Morton said about possibly retiring after 2018. Our young core may help us to win within a 7-10 year window, but now is the time to win.

Hall of Famer John Smoltz once said that if you’re going to lose, you better lose early because if you lose in the World Series, that’s what you’ll be remembered for.

Who wants to be that way? Certainly not any team in the MLB. It has to be we either get remembered as World Series champions or not remembered by losing early in the playoffs.