Thanks to another superb effort, the Astros sweep the Rangers in convincing fashion.
The Astros, once again, bested the Rangers in baseball combat. By the score of 12-2, Houston not only swept the Rangers, but they did so in Arlington. This wasn’t a sentence I could write often, if at all, the past two seasons. The Rangers at one point were basically owning the Astros.
But that has not been the case in 2017.
For example, the Astros took no prisoners in Arlington this week. The score of each game during the series tells the tale. And the run differential was just impressive.
There is much to unpack in this one game, but I will try to keep it brief.
George Springer gave the Rangers this parting shot in the sixth inning. Let’s just say it was a “grand” parting shot.
The marvelous Jose Altuve happened to pick up his 200th hit of the season. No big deal, right?
This marks the fourth consecutive season Altuve has collected 200 hits.
That is three more than Hall of Fame second baseman of Astros fame, Craig Biggio, collected in his ENTIRE career.
There was also a bit of notable franchise history made in this late-season series in Arlington.
And Justin Verlander continues to pitch amazing as an Astro.
But this series is distant history now. Houston finally vanquished their woes against the Rangers. At least for this year, anyway.
Now, it is time to focus on more important matters.
The race for AL supremacy seems like a good place to start.
At the time of this writing on a Wednesday evening, the Astros currently stand one game behind the Indians for the best record in the AL. It would’ve been tied, but the Twins did not hold up their end of the bargain.
This makes the four-game series to finish the regular season in Boston seem paramount for home-field advantage throughout the ALCS. I do question, though, if home-field advantage is would be truly worthwhile for Houston. Don’t get me wrong as I tend to believe it would help. Seriously, it should be better to play in front of your home crowd than an opponent. But that is just me.
The reason I make such an outlandish statement is that the Astros are 50-27 on the road entering Thursday. Back at home in Minute Maid Park, the Astros finished the season 48-33. Technically, though, 47-31 is the “true” home record at Minute Maid Park. There were those three “home” games in Tampa as Hurricane Harvey devastated southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
Serious moment here, so please bear with me for a second.
I implore you to keep this region along with Florida and Puerto Rico in your prayers and thoughts. The devastation from these tropical cyclones is real and people need your help. I feel very fortunate to be able to write a rather meaningless blog post about the Astros and their recent success. I am sitting in the comfort of my living room on my couch during a calm Wednesday night. Countless others are facing real pain and hardship right now. Take the situation in Puerto Rico and Carlos Beltran’s emotion during this situation as an example.
Back to baseball for a moment.
The Astros picked up their 98th win of the season. This now puts the 2017 team in sole possession of second place in terms of wins in a single season for franchise history.
They can tie the 1998 club with 102 wins if they sweep the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Yeah, good luck with that. But crazier things have happened. Maybe, just maybe, they can pull that off and somehow have home-field advantage. Now that would be a story to read to pump yourself up for the postseason.
**Statistics and information courtesy of MLB.com**