A Win is a Win is a Win

A Win is a Win is a Win! But Never Understimate the Heart of a Champion! Champions find the ugly wins more than most!

A Win is a Win is a Win!
But Never Underestimate the Heart of a Champion!
Champions find the ugly wins more often than most!

 

A Win is a Win is a Win!

The 2-1 Astros win with two outs in the bottom of the 10th on a throwing error by the Oakland A’s 3rd baseman, their 4th error of the game, wasn’t pretty, and certainly not as exciting as Valbuena’s 3-run walk-off HR on Friday night against this same club, but it counted in the “W” column all the same. The late single scores by the Spacemen in the 9th and 10th, both coming with 2 outs, allowed Houston to head for the All Star break with a 48-41 seven-game plus bulge in the win column for the same differential they enjoyed in 2015 with a 49-42 mark at the summer classic break.

It wasn’t easy, in spite of a great game by lefty Dallas Keuchel and his 7 innings of 1 run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts ball, the Astros couldn’t squeeze or float him into the win column Sunday. The ‘Stros were too busy suffering from the “Manaea-cle” shutdown treatment by Oakland starter lefty Sean Manaea, who gave up no runs and no walks while striking out 6 and allowing only 5 singles over the same 7 inning road that his worthy foe Keuchel traveled. It almost turned out to be a 1-0 win for the game-departed Manaea over the game-lifted Keuchel until two outs in the 9th when Astros catcher Evan Gattis double down the left field line off A’s reliever Ryan Madson, the same guy who gave up Luis Valbuena’s Friday’s walk-off boomer,  – this time – to score Carlos Gomez from 3rd base with the run that tied the game at 1-1 all.

Bam! Just like that. The Astros had been “un-Manaea-cled”. And Dallas Keuchel had been unsaddled from a potential loss.

Then came the 10th.

Will Harris had some defensive help, but he came in to pitch for the Astros and quickly sat down three Oakland batters for no further damage done. In the process, the Astros All Star closer was on his way to a first victory of the season as a good luck stat for his hopeful AL All Star Game appearance this coming Tuesday.

In the bottom of the 10th,  with Jake Marisnick on 3rd as a result of a single, a stolen base, and a fly ball out to right – and Jose Altuve on 1st with an intentional pass after two men were out – Carlos Correa bounced a tough-to-grab batted ball toward the line near the bag that A’s 3rd baseman Danny Valencia handled, but fired it wide to first for an errant throw. Correa made it safely to 1st and Marisnick scored easily from 3rd for a 2-1 Astros All Star Break time second walk-off victory over the A’s in this series. As noted, Will Harris (1-1) got the win for the Astros. Liam Hendriks (0-2) took the loss for the Athletics.

Sunday’s Astros success gave them a 2-2 series split with the A’s and a 6-4 record for the 10-game now concluded home stand.

(Sometimes we simply enjoy playing “beat writer”. Wouldn’t want to do it every day. Talk about a challenge to freshness that surpasses keeping sardines edible in the fridge. And they don’t even have the freedom to PhotoShop a picture of a bearded Superman into a picture of Dallas Keuchel getting ready to deliver a big pitch. In this instance, in case it got lost in visual translation, the bearded s-man is supposed to symbolize the “heart of a champion”.)

Enjoy the All Star Game, Everybody! Let’s try to enjoy watching Jose Altuve and Will Harris making us Houston fans proud, even if Altuve’s recent signing with agent Scott Boras fires the future possibility thought that he may someday finish his career with the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, or the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now’s our moment. Let’s enjoy it as it happens. Even when the wins come ugly. We are going to have to play the second half of the season also with the heart of a champion to either overcome the Texas Rangers for the ALW division crown or earn one of the two AL wild card playoff spots.

____________________

eagle-0range
Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

 

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2 Responses to “A Win is a Win is a Win”

  1. Michael McCroskey Says:

    Never say never!

  2. Sue Says:

    Hey, Mr. Beat-writer!! Loved your account! We were at that game, and erupted into jubilation at the end, along with everyone else!! A lot of fans stayed to the end, too! Thanks for the recap.

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