About 13 minutes before the Astros finally got Mike Moustakas to record the first out in the top of the 8th inning on a strikeout, I had this thought:

Houston Astros’ fans were feeling ecstatic after a 7th inning in which Carlos Correa and Colby Rasmus went back-to-back. Their lead was a seemingly insurmountable 6-2. The Fox Sports 1 broadcast had begun showing shots of fans with signs that read as promissory notes to the League Championship Series. Somewhere in Houston, possibly inside Minute Maid Park, a fat lady was singing. Errantly and prematurely so, I might remind you.

How about that graph?


Source: FanGraphs

You see that precipitous drop? At that high point, when Carlos Gomez had singled, the Astros had a 98.4% Win Expectancy. At the unceremonious end of the 8th inning, on a George Springer strikeout, the Astros fortunes seemed past the horizon at 15.5% WE. They had blown their largest lead of the year and, for now, the chance to sell a bunch of ALCS hoodies and hats.

That bowel-voiding, vomitous sensation you get when a rollercoaster rips down that huge drop must be exactly what the Houston crowd felt like during the entire Royals’ half of the 8th inning.

With a two-run bomb to right-center, Eric Hosmer may have delivered the knockout blow – the ‘Stros WE sat at 3.3% after that shot. Down by three runs, 9-6, heading into the bottom of the ninth, things looked grim for the Houston nine.

I think I could hear a collective atrial flutter run throughout Minute Maid Park after that dinger by Hosmer.

The tension remained high, even with Wade Davis striking out Rasmus and Preston Tucker. But the rollercoaster, after inducing so many technicolor yawns of anxiety for Astros’ fans, has certainly calmed down on its return approach to the platform.

About The Author

Growing up in Seattle in the mid- to late-70s, baseball lay in the shadows of many young kids' interests, as the fledgling Mariners were barely a blip on the sports radar. As a teenager, I fell in love with a powerhouse SuperSonics team and was later to have my basketball heart ripped out. My love of baseball came slow, but am now a frothing fanatic. My first love is the Boston Red Sox (no bandwagoning here! I fell for them in '99), but I also cheer on the Mariners.

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