You can’t say the Houston Astros don’t love making baseball history. The Houston Astros punch their ticket to their fourth straight American League Championship Series with an 11-6 win over Oakland. This makes them the first team with a losing regular-season record to play for the right to appear in a World Series. That’s quite the accomplishment, even if it comes with grumbles from fans of the other 29 teams in the league.
The Astros didn’t have an easy road to the ALCS. In the Wild Card round, Houston faced a powerful Twins team with a historically atrocious postseason record.
History was on Houston’s side that series as they swept Minnesota in two games. How nice of them to help the Twins expand their postseason losing streak to 0-18.
When paired up with Oakland, baseball fans salivated at the idea of an ALDS that featured in division rivals with bad blood. Earlier this year, Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano charged the Astros dugout, only to be taken down by backup catcher Dustin Garneau. (You can read more about that here.)
The series began with Houston taking a 2-0 lead. The Astros came out swinging, sending balls into the bleachers at Dodgers Stadium. In Game 1 alone, Carlos Correa hit three home runs off Athletic pitches, helping the Astros to a 10-5 win.
George Springer got into the spirit of the multi-home run game in the second game of this series. Springer parked two round-trippers, the second of which came in a back-to-back scenario with catcher Martin Maldonado. The Astros would win with a score of 5-2, and would look to seal the series in three games.
However, ALCS celebrations were postponed following a late-inning Oakland push in Game 3 that forced a fourth game.
The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 4. However, the Astros offense came roaring back in the 4th inning, scoring five runs. The Astros wouldn’t take their foot off the gas. The final score tells the story, as Houston trounces Oakland 11-6.
The Astros might have come into the season with a lot to lose in the eyes of baseball fans. Watching this team struggle to find their footing has been a solid source of schadenfreude for non-Houston fans. But this team has come through unscathed.