We all knew the Astros would excel in the 2020 playoffs.
Sure we did.
If they played exactly the opposite to the way they did all season, that is.
If key players weren’t injured, for once.
If the Core Four actually got some key hits, for once.
If the mostly rookie bullpen could actually hold someone, for once.
Yeah, I knew all along that after going 29-31 in the regular season, after hitting BELOW LEAGUE AVERAGE, after having the SECOND MOST BLOWN SAVES in the league, that they would sweep the Twins in the Wild Card. And crush the A’s in Game one of the ALDS.
I knew that they would score 10 runs against one of the best staffs in the League in Game one of the Division Series. That the formerly moribund Core would hit 11-18 with three homers and eight RBI.
That Carlos Correa, who hit BELOW LEAGUE AVERAGE for the season, would break out in the first three games of the playoffs hitting 6 for 11 with three homers and five RBI. That he would end up the only shortstop in history to have two multi-homer playoff games.
And who would have ever doubted that George Springer would continue to have his insane “good luck” coming up big in big games. After all, his Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) is 74.4%, higher than Babe Ruth, or even Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. Surely that would go on forever, right?
But it did. Four for five last night? Of course.
Speaking of Mr October, how about Mr October 5th. I mean, I knew for sure that Alex Bregman would break the Astros brief scoring drought yesterday with his fourth straight home run on another October 5th.
And after batting .219 all season, I just knew that Altuve would come through with the tie breaking hit to put the Stros on top for good yesterday. No doubt about it.
And I clearly predicted that the Astros bullpen would compile 14.2 innings so far in the playoffs without allowing a single run and only three hits. That rookies like Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, and Blake Taylor would combine for seven scoreless innings without allowing even a single hit.
Of course. I knew that would happen. We all did. All of it.
Well, back here in the real world, I think most of us are amazed by this sudden turn of fortunes for the Astros. THEY ARE BACK. The real Astros we’ve loved these last four years, not the stricken, Bizarro... dare I say...losers, of 2020. But the big, bad, bold, boisterous Astros that fly a WS pennant and two AL pennants at Minute Maid.
Clutchest team ever.
So far, this playoffs has been a best case scenario beyond belief. The Astros have taken advantage of key fielding errors. Towards the end of the season all the eligible players became healthy. The starting pitching rounded out to a very serviceable top 5. Suddenly the young bullpen has become lights out. (Did you see the bb’s Paredes was throwing last night? The A’s didn’t.) And for the first and only time all year the offense is clicking... like a 16 cylinder Rolls Royce. Or more like a Bugatti Veyron.
Sometimes, the team that wins the championship isn’t the best team. It’s the one that gets hot at the right time.
I will speak no more about this.