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Houston Astros 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3: The Mercy Of The Baseball Gods

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The Astros roar back in the ninth with an improbable 5 run inning with two outs against Angels closer Huston Street to stun Los Angeles County, elate Houston

Poor Kole Calhoun.
Poor Kole Calhoun.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What Happened

Honestly, who knows?

One thing I do know: it can be quite time consuming to have to re-write your entire recap when your team is on one end of the other of a game like this, where the game was one out - one strike, even - from being over and is suddenly drastically different.  You can do what I did, and actually re-write it...or, you can be a genius and do what our brethren at the Halo's Heaven SB Nation Blog did.

I chose, instead, to re-write everything...AND to refer to myself in the first person in the process.  I'm sorry.  I promise to thoroughly flog myself with my AP Stylebook later.

With that roundabout apology for how long it took to get this recap up out of the way, let's get right to the insanity.

The first eight innings of the game were an exercise in futility for the Astros.  There were some good signs, of course - George Springer had two hits in that span, for example - but mostly, it was very frustrating to watch.

Mike Fiers was pretty good today.  In fact, usually his stat line - 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 8 strikeouts, and no walks - would be an outstanding outing.  The problem?  Three of the six hits he allowed were solo home runs.

And also, the Astros continued to struggle to score runs on the road.  While the runs per game for the Astros are actually fairly closely split between home and the road for the season (4.44 runs per game at home, 4.29 runs per game on the road coming into today) it certainly seems to many Astros fans that the offense collectively disappears when wearing the road grays.  Today was no different, as the Astros failed to score a single run in the game until there were two outs in the ninth inning.

Then, the fireworks began.

First, with two outs in the ninth and a 1-2 count against Angels closer Huston Street (who was in for the third consecutive game in a save situation) Preston Tucker did Preston Tucker things:

Video courtesy of Astros.com video archive

Then, still with two outs, George Springer drove his third hit of the day to right field - a triple just beyond the diving reach of a diving Kole Calhoun, who had a tough ninth inning with the glove.  More on that in a moment.

After Springer's two out triple, Jose Altuve would follow by dunking the very first pitch he saw into left center field for a single to score Springer.  Then, things got REALLY weird.

Video courtesy of Astros.com video archive

I don't know if this would classify as good luck or not.  It may be more appropriate to say that when you hit the ball 111 miles per hour (according to StatCast), good things tend to happen.  Still, it was a freak occurrence that usually only happens on movie sets.

Then came Jed Lowrie to pinch hit...and crush Angels fans who were whispering in the bleachers.


Jed Lowrie took a 2-1 pitch 351 feet to dead right field right at the foul pole and just beyond the hapless reach of the aforementioned Kole Calhoun, who made a very poor effort on a ball he really, honestly should have caught.  He mistimed the jump and was positioned poorly to boot, with his left knee getting caught in the padding of the wall as he jumped.  You can see the Roots Sports coverage of it any old place you like (as always, I recommend the Astros website) but here's a wonderful tweet from an Angels fan who was right there with the play and happened to be filming:


Cue the gummi bears. Cue the smoke machine.  Cue the phat beats.  Cue this reaction from Evan Gattis, echoed in my living room and basically across all of Houston:

Gattis

Evan Gattis celebrates the three run home run by Jed Lowrie

In addition to shouting, this was me in my living room:

celebration

That's right, I put my shirt over my head, spread my arms wide like an airplane, and ran frantically in circles screaming maniacal laughter

What a comeback.  What a way to end another rough road series for the Astros.  What a buoyant flight to Arlington it must have been - the spirits had to have been high enough to fly the plane even without Mr. Bernoulli's help.

Perhaps this twitter user summed it up best: