Didn’t seem like the Astros could kick it in gear this year and make a run at the playoffs. They have just been bad for a good part of the season. And yet, one well-timed 7-game winning streak including the first-ever sweep over the division-leading Cardinals in a 4-game series and you have the hint of a possibility. Could we wind up winning the Division? Dare we even talk this way?
Here’s the Houston Chronicle and ESPN on tonight’s win over the Pirates, which (coupled with another Cardinals loss) puts us 1 1/2 games back of the Cards, who are falling off of late. Five more games remain: two more at Pittsburgh, then three in Atlanta (who is missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time.). All of these are winnable games against teams that aren’t as strong. They are on the road to close out the season, which is not easy to do. But the 4-game sweep of the Cardinals and a couple more wins, paired with St. Louis’ tripping up, suddenly has us back in the mix.
As for the division-leading Cardinals, they host San Diego for one more game tomorrow, then close the season with four games at home facing Milwaukee. Their “magic number” is 5 wins, which means that if the Cards win out, they’re in. With only five games remaining, they now face being perfect, or needing some help from Pittsburgh and/or Atlanta to hold on to the division lead.