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Tuesday's One Astros Thing

Talking about that game...

Some things to talk about while I wonder if Kansas City knows what a "throat slash" really looks like...

1) About that game

It sucked.

Instead of a celebration of Carlos Correa's greatness, we got a gut punch of a game. It was a slow-motion car crash that every doubter of this bullpen saw coming from a mile away. It was painful, it took forever and it ended in heartbreak.

Since the game was yesterday afternoon, you've probably had some time to digest it. Everyone in the Houston media market is telling us how this is all part of a Houston Sports Curse. All this has happened before.

As Houston sports fans, we expect it.

We shouldn't.

There's no reason for it. It's just as superstitious as thinking your lucky shirt can win a game or that a tweet from a politician's office account jinxed a game. It happens. Sports fans buy into it. But it doesn't really have any affect.

Case in point. In 2005, the Pujols game was crushing. Yet, the Astros were able to come back in Game 6, seal the trip to the World Series behind Roy Oswalt and go to the World Series.

Do you know why they didn't win there? It wasn't a Houston Sports Curse. It was Morgan Ensberg's injury. It was an offense that struggled all year getting cold at the wrong time.

You probably want to remember this loss as being the most crushing. There haven't been any like this. You may have lived through the game in 2005 and still felt worse yesterday. You may have lived through '97-'99 or '86 or '81. All of those hurt.

This one hurts more now, because it's easier to remember how you felt yesterday than it is to remember how it felt years ago. Except if it was the first time you experienced that pain of a crushing loss.

In '98, my buddy was a huge Padres fan. This drove me crazy, since he didn't have a good reason to be. Sure, he was born in San Diego, but his parents weren't from there. They just lived there for a bit before moving to Houston. Yet, he was still a Padres and Packers fan, for some reason.

When the Astros played the Padres that year, I was all in. That was the best Astros team we'd ever seen. Randy Johnson was pitching better than any other human. And they still lost. I wanted them to win, so I could wipe the smirk off my friend's face. I needed them to win and they didn't.

I was crushed.

A similar thing happened when Pujols hit his home run and ruined Brad Lidge. You could see it coming. Lidge could have gotten out of the inning without facing him. But, then a hit fell in and El Hombre came to the plate.

I was sick.

If you want to believe that this is all about a curse, that this team can't win, go right ahead. No one is stopping you. To me, taking a cynical, pessimistic attitude towards sports takes the fun out of it. It's why most people decide that fantasy sports are really terrible, because they're not fun and just make you angry.

The Astros shouldn't make you angry. They had a lead in a playoff game against a team that went to the final game of the World Series a year ago. That team, the best in the American League this year, did what they do and won the game. It was a great comeback, but it was still from just four runs down. That's slam distance. It was never insurmountable.

It just sucked.

Now, the Astros go back to Kansas City. They take a pitcher who shut down the Royals in Game 1. They (probably) take their orange jerseys, which they've won in so often lately. They've won two out of every three games on the road for the last three weeks. They're bringing in the hottest hitter of the postseason in Colby Rasmus (who was still hot yesterday). They're bringing in the best shortstop in the game, who also went 4-for-4 with two home runs and a double yesterday. The bullpen got hit in two out of the last four games, but didn't implode in every game.

What I'm saying is they have a chance. I'm sure the Royals are confident, but so is this Astros team. They've been playing for their lives for three or four weeks now.

They've got this.