“That’s What I’m Here For”

George Springer, About to Make Catch of the Game in 7th of Game 6
Photo by Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle


When George Springer made this catch in the top of the 7th of Game 6, it protected the Astros’ lead of 3-0 from dropping to 3-2.


Justin Verlander prepares to land a hug of appreciation on George Springer at the end of the 7th. The play also primed the Astros to run their final victory score to 7-1 over the Yankees.
Photo by Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle


“That’s What I’m Here For!” ~ Justin Verlander

How we handle a Game Six experience as fans is a very individual thing. Age and experience both have something to do with it. And learning from our heroes is also part of the education.

Unlike my younger times, when I would have dared not missed the live action, I chose to stay home and watch it with my sweetie, whose much later in life introduction to baseball still incites her to ask questions like the one that popped out of her mind when Correa and Altuve pulled off that magnificent double play behind Verlander in the first inning: “Hon,” she said, “tell me again. What is the term they use when a ball is hit and, after the ball is caught and thrown around a lot, the two men running for the other team now have to go back to the dugout and sit down with their teammates?”

I was up to handling every question my dear wife of great academic accomplishment could offer. What I couldn’t handle was that extant sense of foreboding that first landed within me in full flourish in 1980 and then returned to leave that permanent scar on my Astro fan psyche one very long fateful early autumn day at the Astrodome in 1986.

It was back. And it was quietly awful in ways that silently stung hard.

I wanted to turn away from the game to a movie distraction, but could not. The compulsion to watch and go through this pitch-by-pitch game experience as a conscious transcending moment was too great. Then I looked hard at what Mr. Verlander was trying to do for us. And I was transcended to a better place by what I now finally digested from his actions and words.

To heck with fan discomfort. What about Verlander’s challenge? He couldn’t bug out on the reality that hope and joy are fragile commodities in the instant moment of show, tell, and deliver on the field. He couldn’t stop working now – and tune in later to see what happened. Of course not! He’s the guy who both said and understands the full meaning of his statement to the media, when they asked him about the pressure he felt going into Game Six.

“That’s what I’m here for.” Verlander told the media.

Right out of Shakespeare.

“To be or not to be” for anything happening in any given moment is most often decided by the presence of someone who understands his or her role in any small or large matter in the terms expressed by Justin Verlander. Whether it’s giving your MLB club its best chance of winning a crucial Game Six by your performance on the mound, being a good partner in marriage, being the best parent possible, being the best citizen we can be, or just being the best fans we can be, we have to understand and try to live by the words that this good man put forth, even if we are never perfect or guaranteed the result we are hoping to achieve.

“That’s what I’m here for” still remains our best game plan for living and acting in the here and now.

Give us all you’ve got in Game Seven, Astros! ~ We’ll be with you! ~ Pulling for you all the way! ~ No mater what!


The Morning Line on Game Seven

We don’t really know the Vegas odds, but we would not be surprised if they were pro-Yankee in flavor.

The Yankees are starting C.C. Sabathia, 14-5, 3.69 ERA, the winner of Game Three in New York.

The Astros are starting Charlie Morton, 14-7. 3.62 ERA, the loser in Game Three in New York.

Here’s a table on how Sabathia and Morton both fared in tht first face off with each other. It also features how Colin McHugh performed in that same game and how Lance McCullers did in Game 4. In our view, McHugh and McCullers were the other two good options to start today, given how all has played out. Maybe manager Hinch will end up using all three Astros on the chart before the day is done. After all, for the losers of Game Seven, there is no tomorrow.

SABATHIA NYY/1-0 3 4 6.0 3 0 0 4 5 0 1.15
MORTON HOU/0-1 3 4 3.2 6 7 7 2 3 1 10.13
McHUGH HOU/0-0 3 4 4.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0.00
McCULLERS HOU/0-0 4 3 6.0 2 1 1 2 3 1 1.50

Bold Type: Named Starters

DR: Days Rest


ONE FINAL THOUGHT WE ALL KNOW. Regardless, the Astros have to keep their reawakened bats going against the formidable Mr. Sabathia for Houston to have a second World Series that we are looking forward to playing in 2017 when it’s this time Sunday morning.




Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


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