October 2, 2004
Stros clinch tie for Wild Card playoff spot
Roy O became the National League's first 20-game winner, and JK and Bidg each cranked two yaks to lead the Stros to a 9-3 victory over the Rockies and move the club to within one win from completing a late-season playoff drive for the ages.
The Stros are now a game ahead of the Giants, who lost 7-3 to the Dodgers on Sunday. The Braves eliminated the Cubs from the playoff race on Saturday afternoon by handing the Cubbies their fifth straight loss.
With a win in the regular-season finale Sunday or a Giants loss to the Dodgers, the Stros will clinch the National League's final playoff spot. This was unimaginable a little over a month ago when the Stros were struggling four games below .500 and seven games behind the Cubs. Since August 15th, the Stros are an incredible 35-10.
Roger Clemens was set to take the mound against the Rockies on Sunday afternoon after only three days' rest, but he came down with the stomach flu on Saturday night, so Brandon Backe gets the nod in the potential clinch game. Inasmuch as the Dodgers clinched the National League West Division title with their dramatic win on Saturday over the Giants, they have little to play for in the last game and thus, the Giants are likely to win the Sunday game between those two clubs. So, the Stros really need to pull out all the stops to win on Sunday, because it is not clear whether Clemens will be well enough to pitch in the Monday afternoon playoff game in San Francisco if the Stros lose and the Giants win their Sunday games.
Oswalt (20-10) won 20 games for the first time in his career, while allowing only one run and five hits in seven innings. His 20 win season is the eighth 20-win season in club history. Larry Dierker, Mike Hampton, Jose Lima, J.R. Richard, Mike Scott and Joe Niekro (who did it twice) are the other Stros 20 game winners.
Over 110,000 people will be attending the Stros game and the Texans game tomorrow afternoon in Houston. It might just be quite a party!
Posted by Tom at October 2, 2004 11:48 PM |
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