The Houston Astros have a chance to eliminate the New York Yankees tonight at their house and avoid what seven teams have done in MLB history? What’s up?
The Houston Astros have shocked the New York Yankees by taking not one, but two games at Yankee Stadium. With the team up three games to one, the Houston Astros are one win away from the World Series. But while there is a reason to be excited, there is also another to remain focused.
Houston Astros fans — what a turnaround!
We go from coming off a grueling series with Tampa Bay to dropping a stunner in Game 1 in which Zach Greinke struggled a bit while our offense did nothing to help. Many thought we would fall down 2-0, but thanks to Justin Verlander and Carlos Correa, the series went back to Yankee Stadium for Game 3.
Even though Gerrit Cole wasn’t at his best, he still dominated and we took a critical series bringing home-field advantage back to Houston. But then, mother nature decided to delay the series for one day. However, there was drama with the idea that the Astros were “stealing signs” in Game 1.
Two things come to mind on this subject. First of all, we got beat pretty badly so unless we picked up a fake Mike Leach playbook on what the Yankees did, we did nothing. Second, if I were a Yankees fan, I would tell them they’re losing on two battlefronts: the series and the mental makeup.
Fortunately, MLB cleared the Houston Astros of all wrongdoing and Game Four was the focus with Greinke against Masahiro Tanaka. Despite giving up a bases-loaded run early, Greinke pitched well while George Springer and Carlos Correa teed off. Ryan Pressly was like himself of old when he struck out two Yankees with the bases loaded while the Yankees fans suffered as their team committed error after error after error.
Because of this win, the Astros are up 3-1 in the series. Tomorrow, Justin Verlander gets the ball with a chance to put the series to rest. Sounds like plans for a World Series against Washington are in order, right?
NOT SO FAST!
I know you guys are probably thinking well duh dude, we know we’re up 3-1 in the series and need one more win. What could go wrong? Well, let me remind you of how the Tampa series went down.
We won the first two games at home and were one win away. We went to Tampa and got shellacked twice to send the series back to Houston for a do-or-die Game 5. While we credit the Tampa Bay Rays for the series they gave to us, we need to realize that the Yankees are not going to back down. They didn’t win 103 games because they were lucky. They won because they came out ready to play all season long in spite of injuries. Plus, they had no trouble with the Twins in the first round.
The odds favor us right now, but AJ Hinch will have to get plan B set if, for some reason, Justin Verlander doesn’t get it done tonight. That’s because the Astros are looking to avoid being the eighth team to blow a 3-1 series lead in the LCS.
Who are those eight teams? Here they are:
1985 Blue Jays
These teams know the pain of coming close to reaching the World Series and suffering heartbreak.
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But here’s where Hinch is at right now. If JV doesn’t get the job done in Game 5, what does he do for Game 6?
- Risk a bullpen game knowing that you would save Gerrit Cole for Game 7 with the realization that his next appearance would be in Game 3 of the World Series should the Astros advance?
- Risk throwing Gerrit Cole in Game 6 on three days rest and if the Astros lose and go to Game 7, deal with a bullpen game for all the marbles?
While the focus will be on Game 5 tonight, the series is not over. As fans, we should not be celebrating right now. We can enjoy the win, but tonight, it’s time to focus on Game 5. We haven’t done a thing except shut up the Yankees and their fans to a 3-1 lead and put pressure on them. They have to win twice just to bring the series to a Game 7 and pressure on us.
Until the last out is recorded and we’re going to the World Series, I am in no way thinking beyond trying to win the fourth game and go from there. We made big statements to the Yankees. Now, we just have to finish them off. It won’t be easy. The Yankees are a great team. But if we limit their damage like we did tonight and capitalize on our chances, we’re in pretty good shape.
Let’s go Astros.