At this point in the season, there isn't all that much to look forward to. No playoffs means no playoff hunt. No truly elite players means no individual performances to evaluate day in and day out. It's sort of a low expectation, low excitement time of the season. Lest non Astro fans forget, this is an odd position for Astro fans to be in. In the past decade and change, the 2002 and 2007 seasons are the only years when our squad weren't in the hunt the last weekend of the season. That's something. Maybe Billy Wagner was right back in day, criticizing Drayton for trying only to compete, and not to win it all. I'll bet, however, that there are many, many fans out there that wish their favorite baseball team competed like the Astros have in the recent past. I digress though...
Back to tonight. Wrigley Field didn't seem to have the same buzz it usually does. The Astros sprinted out to a 5-0 lead, and held on for a 5-3 series opening win. Even when Chicago made pushes to get back in the game, their efforts were never the kind that made momentum change. Roy O did what Roy O does when he's on: pound the strike zone, in doing so limit his pitches and walk virtually no one. Jose Valverde collected his twentieth save of his injury shortened season. Valverde has quietly had a very good campaign, and it looks more and more like he will be making a pretty penny next season, albeit with another team most likely.
Carlos Lee knocked in four runs, and put himself on pace for another 90+ RBI season. If he finishes strong, there's a strong chance he surpasses the 100 RBI mark for his third consecutive season as an Astro. His production in other regards has been down this year, and he is a sieve on defense that's for sure- but is doing what the Astros have brought him in for: be a consistent, perhaps not quite All Star level player. That contract may be impossible for him to justify, but at the very least he has been passable in comparison to the money he's making.
Win #63 of the season puts the Astros twenty off our community pre season projection, and just a few shy of PECOTA's predicted total. This may have been one meaningless win, but in a season that has been short on enjoyment, this one felt sweet.