Twenty-seven outs in October hit differently. Go ask the Cardinals. Ask Chapman. Ask Servais. Every single out matters and yesterday was no different.
If you told me that the Cy Young winner Justin Verlander would be chased out after 4 innings when he gave up 10 hits and 6 runs that we still win the game, I would have said, “hell ya, brother,” and not even believed what I said.
The Mariners had a chance to land a knockout punch, and they simply didn’t execute. You know who did execute? The Astros bullpen executed. The Astros lineup against one of the best bullpens in baseball executed. The rookies executed. Yordan executed.
I can’t talk about the Yordan walk-off boombah without talking about Hensley and Pena. TWO INSANE AT-BATS WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE, AND THEY DIDN’T FLINCH. Hens with the insane walk in a pinch-hit moment, hell, maybe the best walk since The Beatles crossed that one street.
Then there is Jeremy Pena, the prince who was promised. Playing in his first playoff game with the ghost of CC1 roaming the infield. The kid got a slider which we all know has given him trouble all year and he took it right back up the middle. One of his best swings all year.
Then Servais panics and brings in last year’s Cy Young for a lefty/lefty matchup like it’s 1996. Well, you know what happened next.
BUY THE SHIRT. BUY THE MOMENT.
10 MORE WINS.