H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Thursday, September 08, 2005

All Freaking Systems Go...

It's been awhile, but I felt the need to post my thoughts on your Houston Astros yo-yoing through the late summer and early fall of 2005. As we all know, the 'Stros just completed an absolutely EPIC sweep of the Phillies last night in Philly. Three ridiculously close, well-pitched games (with the notable exception of one William Wagner), and the 'Stros won all three.

Last night, I was on the horn with one of my buddies after the end of the 8th. Idiot that I am, I remember sarcastically remarking something to the effect, "Well, it's not over yet...we've still got the heart of the line-up (Everett, Ausmus, and Viz) to bail us out." While the first two gentlemen didn't do anything to help the cause, Viz, with a lot of help from David "Boots" Bell, began the rally. Then Willy T. used those crazy legs to reach on yet another infield single. At that point, the camera panned to the dugout, and Morgan Ensberg was jumping around. I remember thinking, "Ensberg thinks we're gonna win this game." And then Bidge stepped up and delivered Wagner's heat into Jersey. Game over.

Speaking of, as blog empresario Scott observed today, why in the world did Wagner throw Biggio a fastball? Before anyone starts with the "Billy always wants to challenge hitters with his best pitch" please stop. I am tired of that illogical argument. Major League hitters, to a man, can hit a fastball. Factor in that Biggio is notorious for being a below-average slider hitter, and the pitch makes even less sense. Not that I'm complaining, of course. Nothing makes me happier than Wagner looking like someone peed in his Cheerios as Bidge trots around the bases.

2004 was one of those once-in-a-lifetime type seasons. I remember always thinking the 'Stros would get the big hit or big play when it mattered. And they almost always did. I can't help but notice that I'm starting to get that same feeling again. Granted, there are concerns: Lidge has scared me in the past few weeks. Everett might as well blatantly try to lean into every pitch, because he rarely gets on otherwise. And Mike Gallo's presence on a major league roster, much less that of the Astros, is more mind-boggling to me than Michael Irvin drawing a paycheck as a NFL analyst. Despite all of that, I think the 'Stros are headed back to the postseason. Given how the season started, that's absolutely insane.


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