Monday, November 24, 2008

Does one game make a difference?

Saturday, August 14, 2004. Houston @ Montreal.

Carlos Hernandez makes his first start since 2002. Nick Johnson hits a grand slam in the 8th and the Expos win 8-3, sending the Astros to a 56-60 record. The Astros were tied for 3rd, 19.5 games behind the Cardinals and 7 games back of the Cubs. They had the 11th best record in the National League.

Then, the Sunday game. August 15. Orlando Palmeiro's pinch-hit single to score Jason Lane capped a three-run 9th inning for a come-from-behind 5-4 win. Then they only lost three more times in August and went 18-7 (three of those losses came in a four-game set at, of course, Pittsburgh) in September.

What happened? Can one game set off a streak, like that of the '04 Astros that rattled off a 36-10 record (2nd-best to close a season)? One come from behind victory against the Expos on a Sunday afternoon decides the season. Your thoughts?