MLB League Championship series full of fun, excitement
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Commentary by Denton Ramsey
With the Major League Baseball playoffs quickly heating up, the wild-card Houston Astros are making a run for the World Series.
After falling behind by two games after losing games one and two in St. Louis, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park and picked up a pair of wins to tie the series 2-2.
Then, on Monday night, the Astros battled the Cards in a very decisive game five in Houston.
With Brandon Backe on the mound for Houston, the young pitcher was once again put in a position where a win was almost mandatory.
But that hasn’t slowed down Backe in previous clutch performances, and it didn’t stop him on Monday night either.
In the Astros 3-0 win against the Cardinals in game five, Backe threw 5 2/3 of no-hit baseball to begin the game.
On the other end for the Cards, Houston native Woody Williams pitched a one-hitter over 7 innings pitched.
Backe left the game after going 8 innings, surrendering only one hit, and no runs.
The Astros ace closer, Brad Lidge, entered the game in the 9th inning and quickly took care of business.
In the bottom of the ninth, Craig Biggio began the inning with a quick out.
Then, Carlos Beltran came to the plate and slammed a single.
With Lance Berkman taking pitches, Beltran easily stole second and the Cards gave the go-ahead to walk Berkman.
And boy did they pay for that one.
Jeff Kent, a guy that FOX and ESPN want to label as a guy that hits into double plays more than looking at the true ability he has shown throughout the entire season, came to the plate with one out and runners on first and second.
After a meeting on the mound between the pitcher and catcher, Kent took the first pitch he saw and completely clobbered it out of the ballpark to give the Astros a dramatic 3-0 win on a walk-off homerun.
With the victory, Houston now leads in the series 3-2 heading to game six tonight in St. Louis.
If Houston’s bats (especially the bat [and let’s not forget the amazing glove work] of Carols Beltran) can remain hot, Houston should be able to move on to the World Series with a win in game six.
In Sunday’s MLB action, I witnessed Lidge come into the 8th and 9th innings and pitch to near perfection, as he struck out 5 of the 7 batters he faced.
With an ace like Lidge coming into close games for the Astros, it’s hard to see anyone coming back to win as long as Houston has a lead before Brad enters the game.
If Houston can pick up just one more win, they will win the National League Championship and will be heading to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
In the American League, the Boston Red Sox are having a difficult time with the New York Yankees.
However, after Boston’s dramatic 12th-inning walk-off homerun to win game five, the Red Sox forced another game in Boston to try and move the series back to New York.
And they did just that.
On Monday night, fireworks weren’t only going off in Houston.
Game five of the Red Sox vs. Yankees game was a long one… a very long one.
But the Sox walked away with the victory in the bottom of the 14th inning when David Ortiz (the game four hero) had an RBI single to plate Johnny Damon for the winning run.
After Boston’s 5-4 win, the series will now move back to New York, where the Sox hope to win another shocker and force a decisive game seven.
(As of print time, the Sox and Yanks were battling it out in game six).
This season’s championship series for both the National League and the American League have been very fun and exciting to watch.
As many of you know, I’m a die-hard Astros fan.
And I think I let the entire area of downtown Demopolis know that on Monday night as I stood screaming and hollering for Houston as they won so dramatically over the Cardinals with the walk-off homer.
Just one more win… one more win and my boys will finally get a chance to prove they are the best in baseball.
Outside of professional sports, I’m very excited about the way things are going since I moved here to Demopolis.
My Astros are on a role and the DHS Tigers are looking more and more like a state-championship caliber team.
Life can’t get much better than this.
Unless, of course, Houston wins the World Series and the Tigers win state.
Then, things might be more in the realm of a dream than that of reality.
But hey, it could happen.
Just a matter of time before we find out.