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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Astros: The First Time 

Houton sends Roy Oswalt to the hill today to battle former Astro Mike Hampton. It'll be a match-up of Houston's last two twenty-game winners (Hampton in '99, Oswalt this season).

Should Houston win and take a 2-0 lead in the series, it will mean they've accomplished a number of "firsts":

- their first 2-0 lead in a regulation postseason series (they Astros blew a 2-0 lead to LA in a best-of-three "division" series during the strike-shortened 1981 season).

- their first postseason with multiple wins since 1986.

- their first time to take an opponent to the brink of elimination since the NLDS began in 1995.

- their first time to ever win two road games during a single postseason.

I don't expect Atlanta to lay down today. The Houston bats will have to continue the torrid hitting display that they showed yesterday, and Roy O will need to be on top of his game. If Houston can get to the 8th with a lead, then don't be surprised to see Brad Lidge go two innings to try and shut them down.

Today is a must win. Call it the most important game in franchise history if you'd like, but make no mistake: the Astros do not want to come home with a split and send Brandon Backe to the mound on Saturday.

Git'er done.


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