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Putting Last Night’s Victory in Perspective

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Although many around here would consider anything but a World Series victory a failure, let’s put last night’s victory in perspective: it’s something the Astros have only accomplished in five other seasons in their history, and four if you’re being persnickety: a playoff series victory.

That’s right. I’ve been on this bus for a long time, becoming an Astros fan during the 1980 series against the Phillies. If I had tuned in on another night, I might be a Phillies fan. But that game 2 comeback victory, and those bright uniforms, put a flame of Astro love in my heart that would not die, despite never living in Texas, and having the Red Sox in my face for almost a decade. But the Astros lost that series, and then lost every playoff series they made it to for another two decades: 1986 (still stings), 1997 (happy to be here), 1998 (are we snake-bit?), 1999 (okay, I officially hate the Braves), and 2001 (THE TEAM IS CURSED). Finally, in 2004, the Astros won a playoff series, after almost a decade of excellence of Biggio and Bagwell, only to lose in the most excruciating fashion to the Cardinals (Pujols).

In 2005, we won twice as many series as the team had won in its existence. Still, getting swept by an okay White Sox team... Then the decade-long downhill. In 2015, we sort of won a series against the Yankees. That’s it, 4* series’ victories in 35 years of rooting. In the last three years, we’ve now won five series. We’ve got to pour the champagne and act crazy five different times after entering the playoffs, in just the last three seasons. As fans, we’ve had more to celebrate on the post-season front in the last 800 days, than past generations have had to celebration in 8 million days. In 8 billion days! Since in God’s perfect foreknowledge, at the dawn of time, He foreordained that there would be Astronauts, and baseball, and Nolan Ryan, and a little guy named Jose Altuve. These are the best of times.

In less cosmic perspective, last night was the 9th playoff- series victory in the team’s history, and that’s including the WC one-gamer as a victory. (We’re all now so seasoned that we consider that game the pre-playoffs). Five of those have come in the past three years. These are the golden days for our franchise. Jim Crane might sell the team; Jeff Luhnow might run for President. It won’t last forever. Let’s enjoy it. Let’s high five and wear our Astro gear to work. Let’s fly our Astros flags. And let’s kick some Yankee behind!