Posts Tagged ‘it ain’t over til it’s over’

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, But …

July 17, 2017

“Hey, Astro fans! Sometimes the easiest way to get the name of the best team in baseball is to go to the sports pages and check out the standings and read the name of the team that’s on top.”
~Ghost of Yogi Berra


It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over, But … as a probability, first place in the AL West is pretty much decided now, as of all the games completed through Sunday, July 16, 2017.

The Houston Astros, at 32 games above .500 ball are, in fact, the only team playing on the sunny side of .500 going into the games of Monday, July 17th.

The following standings reflect all games completed through Sunday, along with the column tabs on how many game already have been played (GP) and how many games remain for play on each club’s schedule for 2017 (GR):

ASTROS 62 30 .674 92 70
MARINERS 46 47 .495 16.5 93 69
RANGERS 45 46 .495 16.5 91 71
ANGELS 46 49 .484 17.5 92 70
ATHLETICS 42 50 .457 20.0 92 70

To better present the picture in easy-to-see math, let’s assume that the Astros only play .500 ball over the course of their remaining 70 games (GR). As improbable as that slight accomplishment is, .500 ball the rest of the way still would allow the Astros to add 35 games to each of their current win and loss columns of 62 and 30, providing the post-season Astros with a complete regular season record of 97 wins, 65 losses, and a winning percentage of .599.

So, if the Astros finish at 97-75, one or more of the other four ALW clubs would then have to win enough games from their variable remaining games to reach a final total of 98 wins, and in so doing, beat the Astros for first place by one game, with a record of 98-74.

Our second table reflects how unlikely that shall be, based upon what they’ve all shown us so far. We’re talking leaps and bounds above .500 ball by the same four teams that have shown significant trouble even reaching up to the bar of .500 ball mediocrity.

If the Astros go .500 from here, what the others would need to overtake them:

MARINERS 46-47 69 Go 52-17
RANGERS 45-46 71 Go 53-18
ANGELS 46-49 67 Go 52-15
ATHLETICS 42-50 70 Go 56-14

Using our first team for greater clarity on the chart, this table carries forth the hypothetical idea that, if the Astros only play .500 ball the rest of the way, they will finish with 97 wins, making 98 the number that each of the other clubs would need to beat them out of 1st place by one win, assuming, also, that all teams play out their full 162 game schedules.

Example: That means the 46-47 Mariners would have to go 52-17 in their final 69 remaining games to beat out the Astros for 1st place in the AL West.

Ad nauseum, variably, with the other three divisional clubs.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but, the Astros finishing first in the AL West is looking more and more like the closest thing to a sure thing by the day. Not so sure is – all that other stuff that happens in baseball, like the impact of old and new injuries, losing a short series to dead arms, tired bats, weird slumps among the hitting stars, or crazy bounces – like that grounder that Tony Sipp accidentally slapped into right field for a Minnesota two-spot scoring play in Saturday’s game. Had Sipp not deflected it, Altuve probably could have stopped one of those runs from scoring.

Hang on to your caps, Astros fans. Enjoy, but remember. Until that third out cat is finally in the bag of the last championship trail game, that there are always still some big thorns hiding in the shade of those rapidly sprouting rose bushes that we are all now beginning to sense and scent in so many long and overdue jubilant ways.


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

October 13, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015 Minute Maid Park Houston, Texas 12:00 PM Game 4: Royals @ Astros

Monday, October 12, 2015, 12:07 PM
Minute Maid Park
Houston, Texas
Game 4: Royals 9 – Astros 6 (but we ain’t dead yet!)

When the Astros grabbed a 6-2 pulling away lead going into the top of the 8th, and an advantage that could have been 8-2, had we figured out a way to get men home from 2nd and 3rd with only one out and not settled for two “Ks”, things looked pretty good for an imminently  jubilant jolt of great victorious celebration on the field by our  “Crush City Conquerors” or “Hustle Town Hackers.” Take your pick. It was only six outs away.

Some of the Astros fans around us in section 118 were already toasting the 4-run orange tally in the bottom of the 7th as though victory were now a fait accompli and that the two remaining time at bat for Kansas City were little more than a pleasurable formality on the way to the trophy dinner.

Suddenly, I felt swept up by an eerie foreboding that we had all been swept up by a powerful “high” that could possibly lead us to an even more painful, but familiar to many of us “low” from our past experience.  This was a not an enrichment of foresight that abruptly hit upon me; it was an encroachment of hindsight from the painful Astros playoff memories of 1980 and 1986 that once dashed hope and set up this recurring memory of what happened back then to two games that appeared to be in the bag – but were not.

On October 12, 1980, exactly 35 years ago today, the Astros went into the top of the 8th in the final Game 5 of the NLCS at the Astrodome with Nolan Ryan pitching for Houston and leading the Phillies by 3 runs, 5-2. Astros fans were celebrating early then, as they were again today. – And guess what happened – in case you don’t remember. – The Phillies hammered Ryan out of the box, bringing in Joe Sambito as the first in a conga-line of relievers, scoring 5 times for a 7-5 lead. – The Astros tied it at 7-7 with a 2-run spot in the bottom of the 8th, but the Phillies went on to capture the game, the NL pennant, and eventually the World Series by an 8-7 mark in ten innings.

On October 15, 1986, three days shy of 29 years ago today, the Astros went into the top of the 9th at the Astrodome with a 3-0 lead over the New York Mets that they had held since their first time at bat. Lefty Bob Knepper was pitching and seemed to have the Mets eating out of his hands on the Houston club’s way to a win in Game 6 of a 7 game NLCS that would tie things at 3-3 in wins and leave the Mets at the mercy of their great nemesis, Mike Scott, in Game 7 at the Dome. Some Astros fans were again doing the early celebration of their good fortune when, suddenly again, in the top  of the 9th, the Mets and strange play misfortunes allowed the visitors to tie the game at 3-3. The Mets went on to win the game, 7-6, in 16 innings. The hard fought victory allowed the Mets to take the NLCS and pennant 4 games to 2 as they also later rallied past the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

Today was just another reminder of Yogi Berra. “It ain’t over til it’s over for sure, Yogi” and that’s a blade that cuts the same for both teams in any game or series. Give KC the credit that’s due them. They pulled off an amazing late recovery to stay alive and take the final game of this five-game series back to western Missouri, but neither them or the Astros have won anything yet.

“It ain’t over til it’s over!”

Keep thinking orange, Astros fans!


When I'm home watching Astros baseball on my HD big screen TV, these guys who sat in front of me at today's game never show up to block my great view of all the action.

When I’m home watching Astros baseball on my HD big screen TV, these guys who sat in front of me at today’s game at MMP never show up to block my great view of all the action.