Are you a believer yet? If not, you should be! The magic that occurred at Minute Maid Park over the weekend was something completely legendary. The confidence of our Houston Astros is sky high as they finished the week by splitting a series against the Rays and sweeping the high powered Los Angeles Dodgers in dramatic fashion. Not only did the Astros sweep the NL West leading Dodgers, but they pitched a no-hitter, hit a game winning homerun in their final at bat and defeated the likes of both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the process. Absolutely amazing.
The Astros started the week at home by splitting a 4 game set against the Rays. For dramatic effect, the they won 2 of those 4 games in extra innings with game winning hits from Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Correa, respectively. After the Rays series, the Dodgers, who have the highest payroll in baseball, came into town touting two of the best pitchers in baseball scheduled to face the Astros.
After seeing that the Astros were set to face both Kershaw and Greinke, I would have taken winning 1 game and been quite happy. The Astros, however, had other ideas. The series started with baseball history being made. Mike Fiers pitched the 11th no-hitter in Astros history and was absolutely dominant in a 3-0 win. Fiers couldn’t contain his excitement after he struck out Justin Turner for the final out in the 9th and he showed it by heaving his glove straight up into the air as he embraced catcher, Jason Castro. Quite an amazing showing for a player that was the “complementary piece” in the Carlos Gomez trade!
After this history making performance by Fiers, no one would have faulted the Astros for dropping their next two games against the likes of Grienke and Kershaw. They are THAT good. However, the Astros didn’t fold. In fact, they went on to defeat both Greinke and Kershaw behind masterful performances by both Scott Kazmir and Lance McCullers, respectively. The offense was buoyed by Jose Altuve who finished the last 2 games of the series going 5-7, with a home run. Not to be downplayed by last night’s heroes Marwin Gonzalez (who tied the game in the 9th with a RBI single) and Jason Castro (who won the game in the 10th with a homerun to left), Jose Altuve and the Astros further exemplified their grit and fight. Unequivocally remarkable resolve on the part of our Houston Astros.
While the cozy confines of Minute Maid Park was friendly to the Astros yet again, they need to figure out a way to continue their winning ways on the road. The Astros begin a week long road trip tonight in New York against the Yankees and conclude their trip with a weekend set in Minnesota against the Twins.
Until next week, Astros fans. Stay classy.