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|08-21-2015, 10:30 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
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More Astros magic at Minute Maid Park
I spent two hours co-hosting a local sports radio show on Friday afternoon and I said the Astros have been one of, if not the most exciting teams in all of baseball.
Little did I know, the most exciting part of their season was about to unfold.
That was about nine hours before the most magical thing in baseball took place at Minute Maid Park. Recently acquired right-handed pitcher, Mike Fiers, making just his third start with the Astros, tossed the 11th no-hitter in team history.
A crowd of 33,833 were on their feet for the entire ninth inning as Fiers induced a pair of fly outs to Jake Marisnick in right field to open the inning.
Then on his 134th pitch, Fiers reached back for another fastball - at 90 mph - and when Dodgers third baseman swung through it, the ballpark erupted.
Fiers fired his glove in the air and was met just in front of the mound by his exuberant catcher Jason Castro before the rest of his relatively new teammates engulfed him.
It was the first complete game in Fiers career and he tossed his no-no in front of the all-time no-hit king, Nolan Ryan, who is an executive advisor to the club. Ryan and his son, Reid, were in their team suite enjoying the moment. Nolan had a big smile on his face as the celebration was underway on the field following the final pitch
Fiers is dealing for a first place team and has given them a big shot in the arm. His performance on Friday night is just continuing a trend on this insane, exciting homestand for the fans of the Astros.
Over the first seven games of the homestand, the Astros had already treated their orange and blue faithful to not one, not two, but three walk-off victories.
On Sunday, Jose Altuve ripped a long single to bring home Jake Marisnick in the ninth inning. Altuve, then got tackled by Carlos Correa in center field in part of the excitement.
Two nights later, Marwin Gonzalez led off the 10th inning with a home run to left field. The next night it was the rookie phenom's turn, as Correa pushed a single through the right side of the infield to score Colby Rasmus in the 13th inning.
Just before the month began, Fiers came to the Astros along with Carlos Gomez in a trade from Milwaukee. Gomez was the key to the deal. Fiers was, for lack of a better term, the other guy in the deal.
The Astros were a laughing-stock for not one, not two, but three seasons from 2011-2013, winning no more than 56 games in any of those seasons.
Houston has now spent 115 days in first place in the division.
Think about that. The last four seasons, their win totals were 56, 55, 51 and 70 last season.
Houston is now 67-56. They are the best home team in the American League at 43-21. They have won 35 of their last 47 games in front of the home fans and the Astros have unquestionably been the best story in baseball this season.
With 41 games remaining, it sure looks like there is a lot more story to tell.