Nine games to go; Astros have 94 wins for the first time since 1999

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Yuli Gurriel
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Yuli Gurriel /

The Astros’ push for the best AL record will be the predominant story for the rest of the season.

Friday night was simply a good one for the Astros.

For example, Justin Verlander threw seven strong innings in his fourth start as an Astro. His short stint in Houston up to this point has been a success. Thanks in part to him, Houston bested the Los Angeles Angels 3-to-0.

But Verlander was not the only contributing factor to an Astros’ victory on Friday. Marwin Gonzalez and A.J. Hinch’s ejections were arguably the match to the Astros offensive fire last night.

The Astros’ response only consisted of Yuli Gurriel’s three-run homer, but the ejections did light a fire in my opinion.

Thanks to this Astros’ win and a walk-off home run by Nelson Cruz of the Mariners to down the Indians, Houston is now only 1.5 games behind Cleveland for the best AL record. The question is now whether the Astros can keep winning over their last nine games and the Indians suddenly drop off their historic pace. It is hard to believe that the Astros are 8-and-2 over their last ten games and the team still can’t overcome the Indians.

Next: Astros: Justin Verlander to open the playoffs on the mound?

Regardless of the outcome for the best AL record, the 2017 Astros will go down as one of the best in franchise history. In fact, this is the first time that the team has won at least 94 games since 1999. Eighteen freaking years since Houston enjoyed this kind of regular season success in baseball. It has been way too long.

**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference**