October 2005

Cardiac Stros Do It Again

“Wild” about the Astros

Another regular season is over, but the Houston Astros are far from packing up their equipment. With a dramatic finish on Sunday before 42,288 screaming fans, the Stros won their second Wild Card title in a row. 

This one was a nail bitter.  Astros_wild_card_club_house2_oct05_045 The Cubs weren’t going down without a fight, and the Astros were not about to give up.  The last thing they wanted to do was board a plane to Philly for a playoff.  Nope.  They wanted to win this one at home.  They needed to win this one at home.

“I’m happy for the fans,” said Roger Clemens.  “We get to go to the dance one more time.”

“It’s not about making the playoffs,” added catcher Brad Ausmus.  “It’s about making it to the World Series.”

While all eyes were carefully checking out the scoreboard for the Phillies/Nationals game, the Astros had to keep their head in their game.  The fans were very aware of what was happening, and frantically cheered their team on with every play. 

Roy Oswalt pitched an outstanding game, earning his 20th win of the season.  "To get 20 is great, but to get to the playoffs is more," said Oswalt. "We’ve come a long way, especially the way the team pulled together and started playing."

With the last out recorded, the crowd was on their feet as a sea of red confetti Astros_wild_card_club_house2_oct05_166 fell from the rafters.  They got what they came for.  A win and wild card championship.

“I want to win a World Series Championship.  That’s why I’m here- to help this team win,” said pitcher Andy Pettitte.

For one Astro, making the playoffs meant something special.  Jeff Bagwell, who missed most of the season after having shoulder surgery, was thrilled at the opportunity to make one more run for a ring.

“It’s’ great,” he said. “It’s what we’ve been trying to do all season long,.  It’s our final way to get back in to the playoffs, and our guys did it.  That’s what we play for, the opportunity.”

Jeff is also grateful to the fans who stuck by the team and came to watch them play.

“ You guys (the fans) have been great all year.   The last 15 years of my career have been great, and the city keeps getting better and better and I appreciate it.”

Lance Berkman reminded us that “There’s still work to be done.”  He’s right.

The team now has to concentrate on the upcoming week where they will face the Braves in Atlanta on Wednesday with a 4 pm ET start,  and again in Atlanta on Thursday, 8 pm ET.  Friday will be an off day, with the Astros hosting the Braves at Minute Maid Park Saturday and Sunday, times to be announced.  If a fifth game is needed, it will be played in Atlanta Monday. 

Play off games are always exciting, and this one was no exception.  It’s a thrill to get in the mix of the game, following every pitch, every swing, every play with total concentration and excitement.  The Astros delivered, and now it’s on to the dance and a possible World Series Championship.