I imagine that I was like most baseball fans last night. Having convinced my spouse that what happened during Game 162 - for four different teams - was going to top whatever the playoffs could throw at us, I frantically flipped between the Yankees/Rays, Red Sox/Orioles, Braves/Phillies, and Astros/Cardinals.
Predictably, I spent a little more time on the Astros game, just to see their demeanor - to see if they would be able to get up for the last game of the season, show some emotion, knock the Cardinals at least into Game 163, and generally have respect for themselves.
I had to go to the Red Sox/Orioles game to find all of that. As the Orioles battled the Red Sox, and the rain, it was clear that they were dialed in to their opponent, and were going to make the Red Sox earn at least a play-in game. The Astros were down five runs before coming to bat. Brett Myers was nibbled to death by ducks, the defense looked like a JV team, and the offense...well, the offense did exactly nothing.
Even allowing for the fact that the Cardinals were throwing Carpenter (who had a 16IP, 10H/2ER, 19K:2BB line against the Astros in 2011), the Astros managed two hits. The Cardinals had two hits before Myers adjusted his jock for the first time of the game.
And then Myers comes up to bat...and decides to hit left-handed. Maybe I'm taking this too seriously, too personally, but there was absolutely no reason for that to take place. Sure, he was a .161 hitter coming into that AB, but to say, "You know what? We're already down by 61 runs, it's the last game of the season, I think I'll turn around and try it with my left hand on top this time" is an absolute joke.
The Rays were down seven runs, kept fighting, and will now be playing in October. The Astros didn't even look like they wanted to be there, and they played like they had already left the stadium.
Forget the Rays as a model franchise for a second (and do you really think Andrew Friedman would want to leave that to come to Houston?), how about the Orioles as a franchise?
That celebration is for a team that just avoided it's 94th loss. What I'll remember from the 2011 season isn't the 106 losses (well, I'll remember that, too). I'll remember about how the Astros had a chance to look like they gave a crap, and then threw that away.
They Are Our Astros.