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Monday, October 11, 2004

Astros: Meet Me in St. Louis!!! 

Astros 12, Braves 3! Astros win NLDS 3-2!

Astros radio play-by-play man Milo Hamilton:

Enjoy it, Astros! And Astros fans, enjoy it! There's a reason to celebrate, but there's more work to be done!
Astros radio color man Alan Ashby:

That monkey's just taken a big blow to the head!
My series MVP: Carlos Beltran 10/22 (.455) 4 HR, 9 RBI, 9 R

That's clutch, folks. That's why Gerry Hunsicker persuaded owner Drayton McLane to open the wallet and bring Beltran into the fold. But while Beltran has been the spark that propelled Houston to playoff heroicism, he didn't do it all alone.

Here's to two guys that have been the heart and soul of this club for more than a decade: Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

The critics lambasted Houston's dynamic duo for past playoff failures, and perhaps rightly so. But this time around, Bags and Bidge proved anything but easy outs. Comparing their previous postseason performances to their respective 2004 NLDS showings is like comparing Jessica Lange with Jessica Alba (and I ain't talking about acting ability).

Craig Biggio 1997-2001 (14 games): 7/54 (.130) 1 XBH, 4 R, 1 RBI, 0 HR
Craig Biggio 2004 NLDS (4 games): 8/20 (.400) 3 XBH, 5 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR

Jeff Bagwell 1997-2001 (14 games): 8/46 (.174) 0 XBH, 3 R, 4 RBI, 0 HR
Jeff Bagwell 2004 NLDS (4 games): 7/22 (.318) 4 XBH, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR

As an Astros fan of more than two decades, tonight is the culmination of many years of heartbreak. It only took a few thousand games, a few hundred-thousand at-bats, and who knows, maybe a million pitches. But the Astros have finally won that elusive playoff series.

Beating the Braves fittingly brings a sense of closure to Houston's postseason futility. Atlanta isn't going anywhere; they'll likely continue to be a thorn in the Stros playoff side, but at least for one year, we're the better team.

Milo is right, there's still work to be done. But for one night, Astros fans can simply bask in the glory of victory. Tomorrow we worry about the Cardinals. Tonight we clebrate the memory of a fallen star with the thrill of the greatest win in team history. We'll miss you Cammy, but your boys won this one for you.

Enjoy it, Astros.


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