posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 04:17 PM
Astros clinch the NL Wild Card
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros charged into the playoffs with their 18th consecutive home victory, capping an incredible turnaround by beating
Colorado 5-3 Sunday to win the NL wild card.
Brandon Backe filled in admirably for an ailing Roger Clemens, pitching five strong innings and driving in two runs.
Houston won the final seven games of the regular season and nine of the last 10 to complete an amazing late-season push for the playoffs under manager
Phil Garner, who replaced Jimy Williams at the All-Star break.
The Astros will go to Atlanta for Game 1 of the division series on Wednesday -- the Braves have eliminated Houston three times in the last seven
After the final pitch, Houston's players ran out of the dugout to meet near the mound for hugs and high-fives while red and white confetti rained down
on the fans. Garner was a bit slower onto the field, walking on the grass with a big smile and a tip of his cap toward the stands.
Eventually, Garner and his team donned silver-and-white caps with the Astros' shooting star logo and the words "Wild Card" in capital letters.
The Astros were a season-worst 56-60 on Aug. 14 -- four days later they lost star pitcher Andy Pettitte to season-ending elbow surgery. But they
rallied and won an exciting stretch duel with San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego.
Congratulations to the Astros. 18 straight home wins. They sure deserve it. :party-smiley-018:
[Edited on 10/3/2004 by Ben]