I guess I am now guilty of underestimating this team, though I will defend myself by saying that I'm not the first. . . .
What a huge win, simply and precisely because it was a game we had very little business winning. When you've got your number six pitcher--called up from Triple A especially for the occasion--facing off against a future Hall of Famer who's still getting the job done with an .800 winning percentage and an ERA under 3.00, well, you can't win 'em all, right?
Maybe not, but the Astros are doing the best they can to deny that truth right now. July of 2005--during which they've now gone 20 - 6--has become an even better month for the Astros than September of 2004 (when they went 20 - 7). The team has now won five straight overall, 11 of 12, and two in a row in which they had to recall their starting pitcher from Triple A.
The Houston Astros, 15 games under .500 on May 24th, 12-1/2 out of the Wild Card then, and STILL fifteenth in the league in OBP, are now tied with the Nationals for that very same at large spot, and are 2-1/2 up on their next closest competition for it.
Anyone who says they saw this coming is a liar of the first order, but it's quite the story. I just wish I were telling it better. . . .