With the Astros record season of 107 wins and 10 postseason wins, it all came down to Game 7. Is it too soon to look at some of the positives from the game?
I actually gave a lot of thought to recapping the entire 2019 World Series between the Astros and the Nats, but I mainly wanted to talk about a few of our unsung heroes of the season-ending Game 7?
The Astros traded four prospects for Zack Greinke at the trade deadline on July 31, 2019, with the postseason in mind. And much like the trade for Justin Verlander back in August of 2017, the timing was down to the wire for the front office to get all of the pieces in place and all of the paperwork submitted.
Let’s face it though, throughout the remainder of the season, many Astros fans were on the fence about Greinke because of his style of pitching. He is not the flame thrower Houston fans are used to, but he is certainly every bit of the gamer his resume purported him to be.
And while Game 3 was a stellar performance, Game 7 was probably Greinke’s very best outing of the postseason if not the crowning glory of his entire 2019 season. Truthfully, for my way of thinking, it wasn’t just his pitching alone that earned him the Game 7 MVP for the Astros.
Even though he was pulled in the 7th after only 80 pitches and giving up a HR to Anthony Rendon and a walk to Soto, in those first six innings, he was scoreless and faced the minimum number of hitters, giving up only one hit.
As if his artful and creative pitching that induced so many ground ball outs wasn’t enough, he demonstrated why he’s a five-time Gold Glove winner with five very impressive assists, including a 1, 4, 3 double-play, that certainly proved he is an integral part of the defense.
Whoever said pitchers aren’t athletes?
What can we say about Gurriel? He’s the Astros very under-stated — or is it underrated? — first baseman. Having had a historic offensive regular season in his own right, his bat to ball skills were lacking most of the World Series.
But he was the unsung hero of the Astros offense when, in the 2nd inning, his solo home run off Max Scherzer put the boys on the board first and kept the fans cheering.
He was also a defensive genius in the entire series, and Game 7 was no exception. Just because none of his plays in Game 7 were highlight-reel worthy, this series had many of those with three of them alone involving Trea Turner.
Even though the interference call of Game 6 will probably overshadow all of the other plays he fielded, Gurriel’s duplicate sliding plays made in two consecutive Games, 5 and 6, will forever be etched in the memories of baseball fans everywhere.
With only 75 games in the regular season, fan pages are riddled with criticism of the Astros shortstop for spending more time on the IL than on the field this season. However, the time he did spend on the field cannot be overlooked.
Arguably, Correa is one of the very best — if not THE best — shortstops in the game and his defensive prowess is nothing short of phenomenal. He made many plays during this postseason alone that prove he deserves this position.
While his bat was somewhat lackluster in this series, his RBI single in the 5th inning doubled the score for the Astros, proving Correa to be an integral part of the offense. The Astros are definitely at their best when he is on the field and in the lineup.
It’s a great time to be an Astros fan, so let’s hold our heads up high. We made it to Game 7 of the World Series. Each of us has our own opinions as to why we didn’t #TakeItBack, but the history of 2019 is in the books, and we must tip our caps to the Washington Nationals.
No matter what, though, the 2019 Astros will be a team that made history. The 2019 Astos will forever be a team that other teams will aspire to be compared with for years and years to come.
I say it again: It’s a great time to be an Astros fan!
I’ll leave you with these fun facts:
As a team:
• The 2019 Astros made it to Game 7 of the World Series.
• The 2019 Astros were the winners of the ALCS Pennant.
• The 2019 Astros were the AL West Division Champions.
• The 2019 Astros had the best record in the entire MLB with 107 wins.
• The 2019 Astros had the best run differential of +280.
• The 2019 Astros led the league in strikeouts by pitchers while also holding the record for the least number of strikeouts by batters.
• José Altuve IS the 2019 ALCS MVP.
• Yordan Alvarez will most likely be crowned the 2019 Rookie of the Year.
• Alex Bregman had a great campaign warranting him a very great argument for the 2019 AL MVP.
• With a season to remember in 2019, Justin Verlander had a 21-6 record, 223 IP, 300 SO, a 7.8 WAR, and .803 WHIP. Plus, he reached 3,000+ career strikeouts and pitched his 3rd no-hitter.
• Let’s not forget the record-setting Gerrit Cole. He pitched the season of his career with a 6.8 WAR, 20-5 record, 212.1 IP with 326 SO, and a WHIP of .895. Plus, he went 11 games in a row with double-digit strikeouts.
Looking forward to 2020:
2019 was a season we can ALL be proud of. Win or lose, Houston Astros fans bleed the Orange and Blue! So rest up boys!!! Spring Training is in 114 days, and we’ll be in the hunt to once again #TakeItBack.