As I sit here watching the Houston Astros in a 4-4 tie with the Seattle Mariners, I can't help but think I've gotten to watch some wonderful baseball this season. Sure the Astros have fallen out of first place and are currently a loss away from falling out of the playoff picture entirely, but they are still in the hunt (and even in the driver seat). I haven't experienced a playoff chase with even a glimmer of hope since 2008 (86-75). Before that 2006 (82-80). This year is much different than both seasons, because of the massive amount of young talent on the team.
Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Vincent Velasquez, Preston Tucker, George Springer, and Jose Altuve are all in their age 20-25 age season. But I don't care about next season or the season after that. I care now. This team is competing and as frustrating as it is to see the team fall out of first place after a wonderful start to the season, they're still relevant. That's awesome. That's something Astros fans haven't felt in a long time. With respect to the 2008 and 2006 teams, this team is much better than both those teams. This season the Astros currently have a +94 run differential. In 2008 they had a -31 run differential and 2006 the team had a +16 run differential. The record, unfortunately, has not played out that way for the Astros this season.
The Mariners now have a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the 9th. The Angels have already won and a loss here pushes the Astros out of a playoff spot. The good thing is that there are still five days left in the season and the Astros still have a shot at the postseason (and even the division). Regardless of the outcome of those five remaining days, I'm still really happy with this season. Winning Astros baseball is back and I couldn't be happier.
Astros lose 6-4.