San Diego The Houston Astros spent this epic journey for a season as baseball’s greatest villain.
When Aledmys flew Diaz with a runner at first to finish Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, the villains finally lost.
Mocked, toasted and ripped all year after revealing the franchise’s stealing tactics in previous seasons, Astros still had enough of October’s heart and readiness to reach the brink of another world championship. Club manager Dusty Baker came painfully close to matching the biggest playoff comeback in baseball history at wild ALCS.
“The legacy of this group is that these men are soccer players, and these men are men. They have gone through a whole group other than the field, and these men can forget the problems they faced and came together as a group,” said Baker, who took over the captaincy in January. Men are friends forever. “
Houston trailed early and did not plunge into a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay in the seventh game Saturday night, and did not make a stunning comeback after three straight wins.
Although they couldn’t conjure up another amazing post-season achievement, this playoff tour should be a source of pride for this Astros long after the booing stopped.
If fans are allowed to return to most stadiums in 2021, this smeared streak probably won’t hear the end of 2020 anytime soon – but the Astros team that returns next season plans to receive the conviction with the same mental toughness they have shown this month.
“I think we showed what kind of team we are,” said Lance McCollers Jr., who fired a four-stroke ball in the fourth game as the start of Game 7.
McCollers added, “We weren’t on a revenge round. That wasn’t what it was. This was just a bunch of players who got together and wanted to play a good baseball game and want to go to another world championship. This is what it was. We failed to achieve our goal,” But a lot of growth and a lot of wonderful people. “
After winning two of the previous three AL Flags and the 2017 World Championship, Astros played the entire season under a large dark cloud after revealing the scope of the team’s plot to steal opponents’ signals with a central camera and transport them to Houston bats, in part by hitting a trash can
Despite that inauspicious start to an already bizarre season, Houston’s veteran heartthrob never stopped fighting – and in October, Astros showed the proudest reasons for their remarkable post-season success.
Carlos Correa said, “I didn’t enjoy playing baseball as much as I did with this group of men.” “Everything – Pandemic hit, Spring Training 2.0, everything, we haven’t blown up. We kept fighting.”
Astros’s wild year began in January with the dismissal of director AJ Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow. But many Astros veterans from those polluted seasons remained on the team, and the players were not punished.
They reported spring training in February only to face widespread condemnation from their Premier League teammates such as the team every team loved to hate.
The Astros were relentlessly torn apart by their opponents and attacked online from spring training onwards. They were booed and singed by banging trash cans when opponents’ fans were allowed to be around them during this season that has been cut short by the coronavirus.
A fan even got a loudspeaker and broadcast his condemnation of Astros 2017 in Petco Park from the balcony of an apartment outside the outdoor fence at ALCS’s Game 4, singly calling them by name as cheaters.
Some Astros ignored the hate, while others such as Correa indulged it. The beloved Baker offered a level of respect, but the Astros were set to face a regular long season as the most hated team in the major majors – until the coronavirus pandemic turned everything.
When baseball finally returned in July, the Astros played in largely empty stadiums where rival fans could not provoke or harass them – though they tried. Fans gathered outside the Dodger Stadium to express their displeasure when buses brought Team Astros to Chavez Raven in a regular season series against the Dodgers, who lost the 2017 World Championship to Houston in seven games.
After a rotation break and injury losses, defending champion AL struggled during a humble regular season and only made playoffs due to an expanded field. At the age of 29-31, they had their worst season by winning percentage since 2014.
That’s when they quickly got back to the awesome big game level they have consistently been up to for the past four years – whether or not they know what stadiums are coming.
Third base man Alex Bregman said: “I am very proud of this team for fighting every day, fighting in every stadium, going there and playing hard for each other.”
Astros lost in their first three ALCS matches on aggregate 11-5 to the deep, talented Rays. Instead of giving up, Houston became the second team in baseball history to win a three-game winning streak after falling 0-3 in a playoff series.
Houston’s follow-up to its 2019 banner is all the more impressive after the overall disruption of its staff – a huge factor hardly noticed when a host of Option 2 starter and entry-level thinners were nicely shown at ALCS.
The Astros lost Gerrit Cole, who was signed to the Yankees, and Justin Verlander, who needed Tommy John’s surgery. They also went through October without most of them due to injuries.
Houston’s lineup of veteran hitters simply continued to slow, and the Astros fought on the brink of a world championship.
“This team is a group of fighters with an enormous amount of persistence and endurance,” said Baker. “One thing is for sure: We will return to this position next year.”
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