For the second straight night, the Astros won in an elimination game against Tampa Bay 4-3, this time forcing a Game 6 on Friday after going down 3-1 in this best-of-seven series. Unlike Game 4, however, this one began and ended in dramatic fashion with bookend home runs by two of the team's biggest stars.
Sandwiched in between was some incredible pitching by both teams in a game that was driven entirely by the long ball. Fortunately for the Astros, they got the last laugh as Carlos Correa walked it off in the bottom of the ninth. Here are some thoughts.
Nick Andersons struggle with Houston.
For those who may not have been around back in 1995, former Orland Magic guard Nick Anderson missed four free throws in game one of the NBA Finals against the Rockets, any one of which would have sealed the game. The Rockets won the game and swept the series for their second straight NBA title. Well, Houston still isn't good for guys named Nick Anderson and the walk off home run was against Rays reliever Nick Anderson (no relation).
Again, the stars come up big.
The Astros led off the game with a solo shot from George Springer, his nineteenth postseason home run. It was yet another huge blast from Springer who has been the Astros best player this season. That got eclipsed however by Carlos Correa's shot in the ninth, a walk off drive to center field. In their 55th game together, these two marquee stars kept the Astros alive to play another day.
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Quite a night for the bullpen.
A bullpen that was questioned by many prior to the playoffs was, once again, rock solid. After a shaky but scoreless start for youngster Luis Garcia, a string of pitchers came in allowing only three runs on seven hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts scattered over seven innings. They constantly fought their way out of trouble and never gave up a big inning. Just as impressive, they allowed Dusty Baker to keep starter Framber Valdez, who will get the ball on Friday, from having to pitch.
If you missed it, the Spanish broadcast of Correa's home run was everything.
Correa’s Walk-Off in spanish is 100x more epic pic.twitter.com/EZtc8vnq5E— Pab (@NombreEsBurner) October 16, 2020