FanDuel - WFBC

October 19, 2005

The Astros Win the Pennant: Houston's going to the World Series for the first time, thanks to a great performance by Roy Oswalt and an error-prone opponent. (Three wild pitches?)

posted by kirkaracha to baseball at 11:42 PM - 38 comments

Mulder top of the third inning. Fails to cover first. Fails to throw to third for an easy out on the bunt. Throws a whild pitch. Gives up a hit. Down hill from there...

posted by justgary at 11:52 PM on October 19

The Cards have been a disappointment the last two years in the postseason. How do you come out with so little fight after that Pujols moon shot?

posted by rcade at 06:44 AM on October 20

I agree - they looked all but dead for five of the six games. No life, no emotion. Mirroring LaRussa? They looked bored taking care of the Padres and never looked great (save for one game, and one astonishing ninth inning) against the 'Stros. I don't get it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:49 AM on October 20

I think Oswalt took the fight right out of them. An ERA of 1.29 and an NLCS MVP performance is enough to knock the stuffing out of any opponent, but I didn't expect to come here and find many giving credit where it's deserved.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:49 AM on October 20

I'm pretty psyched.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:05 AM on October 20

Tony LaRussa has been riding the publicity from George Will's Men at Work for 15 years. What is his overall postseason record?

posted by yerfatma at 08:10 AM on October 20

As LaRussa said after the game, everyone says the Cards looked flat, but its hard to look anything BUT flat when the opposing pitchers come out and dominate the way Houston did this series. Despite the incompetant umpiring, bonehead plays by Mulder and all the other excuses, the fact is that excellent pitching is what wins postseason games. Hats off to the Astros from this Cardinals fan.

posted by Bury Bonds at 08:17 AM on October 20

Why do you think Billy Bean got rid of Mulder? I think the cardinals fans know the answer.

posted by at 08:20 AM on October 20

I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten in Vegas for an Astros/White Sox World Series at the beginning of the year.

posted by rcade at 08:29 AM on October 20

Hey Texan, I can appreciate where you're coming from as a 'Stros fan - but St. Louis had the best record in the league and looked anything but. And yes, it had everything to do with the pitching performance of Oswalt. It's just a ilttle surprising. Edmonds looked like shit. With the way Chicago and Houston are pitching, I'm feeling that this WS is going to feature some short-ass games.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:30 AM on October 20

So when are people going to start comparing the Cardinals to the Braves?

posted by trox at 08:58 AM on October 20

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH! SOMEONE DELETED THE WORLD SERIES THREAD!!!!! I had put a post in there that took some time to write. Justgary even said he was preserving the thread by making it strictly about the WS while this one is specifically about the Houston/St. Louis game. :( :( :( Thankfully (for my sanity at least) here's the rescuscitated post recovered the not visible but thankfully not completely deleted post...


It's interesting to note that in 2003, we (as fans) were robbed of what would have been a truly epic World Series- Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs, one of those matchups that was literally "apocalyptic" joke fodder before 2004. While this year's matchup is nowhere near that level of crazed fandom and history-steeped baseball lore- as insomnyuk wryly notes with his "tv executive's eye view"- it is nevertheless comforting for beleagured fans everywhere that this year, yet again some team will end its long-time suffering. The White Sox haven't won since 1917, and haven't even been in a World Series since 1959; the Astros of course have never even been in the World Series before in their 44 year history as a franchise.

After that Yankee domination to end the last millenium- for those less familiar with baseball history, the Yankee franchise is perhaps most famous for being a team that has no title in this entire millenium, despite spending nearly eight-tenths of a billion dollars in salary- it's nice to see that the 21st century has been so far much friendlier to title-less or long suffering franchises:

Year TeamHistory
2004Red SoxThe Red Sox finally and famously banish "the Curse", winning their first title in 86 years by defeating a St. Louis team that is, historically, the second winningest World Series team in history. It's worth noting though that, while a long time in coming, the Red Sox are in third place behind the Yankees and Cardinals for most WS Titles, with 26, 9, and 7 for the top 3.
2003Florida MarlinsThe Marlins, not exactly perennial contenders, defeat the vaunted New York Yankees. Although with two post-season appearances, and two WS titles to show for it, in only 11 years of otherwise sub-.500 play, their world-series-titles-to-seasons-played ratio is surpassed only by the Yankees themselves. So maybe we shouldn't call them "suffering" at all. :)
2002Anaheim AngelsThe (then) Anaheim Angels appear in and win their first ever World Series, over the San Francisco Giants. Neither team had ever won a World Series before (although the SF Giants did win 5 when the franchise was still in New York)
2001Arizona DiamondbacksThe Arizona Diamondbacks win their first-ever title against the much feared New York Yankees, behind the stellar pitching of Schilling and Johnson. Like the Marlins then, it's hard to call them "long suffering" with only 4 years of existence before they won a title.


If you're curious, the following 9 teams have never won a World Series. Much harder luck cases exist, such as the Indians and Cubs to name two, where a team has gone far longer than these teams have even existed without winning the WS, but have a title or two from the early part of the 20th century to avoid this list.

TeamWS_AppearancesNotes
Tampa Bay Devil RaysNoneFormed as expansion franchise in 1998 along with the Arizona Diamondbacks (who won in only their 4th season). Have never made the post-season nor finished above .500.
Seattle MarinersNoneFormed in 1977 as an expansion franchise. There was a "Seattle Pilots" team for one year, in 1969, but that was moved to become the Milwaukee Brewers thanks to Bud Selig.
Texas RangersNoneFormed in 1961 as the expansion Washington Senators. This is complicated: a different Senators franchise existed in Washington for many decades, and won a title in 1924. The owner relocated them to Minnesota as the Twins in 1961, but baseball immediately replaced them that same year with a new Washington Senators, who would then relocate to Texas in 1972 as the Texas Rangers.
Washington NationalsNoneAs noted above with the Texas Rangers, an old Washington Senators franchise won in 1924, but the current Washington team traces back to the 1969 expansion Montreal Expos and obviously has never won a title.
Houston Astros2005*Obviously, Houston is making first WS appearance this year, with a chance to win their first ever title. Born as the Houston Colt .45's in 1962, renamed to the Astros in 1965.
Milwaukee Brewers1982As noted above, began as Seattle Pilots in 1969 until the vampiric Bud Selig spirited the franchise to Milwaukee. The city of Milwaukee did win a WS as the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, but that team was the former Boston Braves and later to become Atlanta Braves, and has no ties to the Milwaukee organization.
San Diego Padres1984, 1998Expansion team formed in 1969, they've made two WS appearances but come up empty handed each time.
San Francisco Giants1989, 2002So, the franchise had won 5 World Series as the storied New York Giants, and remained the same franchise when they moved to San Francisco. However, in San Francisco, they are 0-2 in WS appearances since their relocation in 1958. It's a debatable question, then, whether this team is title-less after all.
Colorado RockiesNoneCreated in 1993 along with the Marlins as expansion franchise. Obviously, have had far less success than the Marlins in their 13 years in the league.

posted by hincandenza at 09:00 AM on October 20

trox: So when are people going to start comparing the Cardinals to the Braves?
Someone already did. But I don't think it's a fair comparison, or a fair criticism of the Braves. The Cardinals recent success is a shorter run than the Braves have been on. Plus, they made the WS last year, and have 9 WS titles throughout their history. True, the Braves have made the playoffs as NL East champions every single year for 14 years running and have only one WS title to show for it. However, they've made the World Series 5 times in the past 15 years, which isn't shabby (no one else besides the Yankees have appeared more than twice since 1991), and have actually won in the past decade. Therefore, you can't call their perennial post-season berth a complete loss: they do have relatively recent hardware to show for it.

posted by hincandenza at 09:21 AM on October 20

Look at Mulder's performance in post season. He hasnt ever been there for his team in big playoff games! Nice breakdown Hal, of which teams that have never won the World Series... .

posted by daddisamm at 09:21 AM on October 20

Not only have the Indians not won a World Series, no Cleveland team has won a major sports championship since 1964. That's why I get so tired of hearing about the Cubs & White Sox (Chi had the Bears & Bulls), and the Red Sox before last year (Patriots & Celtics). I was born in '69, so I haven't had a chance to celebrate anything yet. (God, please let the Cavs do something).

posted by roycedawg at 09:26 AM on October 20

SOMEONE DELETED THE WORLD SERIES THREAD! Sorry. Gary and I got our wires crossed. I didn't realize he was interested in keeping both threads online.

posted by rcade at 09:58 AM on October 20

it's a win win situtation either team is worthy of the honor go teams!!!!!-A Yankee Fan

posted by FrankySP at 09:58 AM on October 20

Man, after that game 5 loss on Pujols' homer it seemed everyone absolutely expected nothing short of a Astros collapse. Please. The Cardinals look like a soft team that can't get it together when the high-pressure's on. They have lots of talented baseball players, but if you can't take a best-of-seven series when it's all on the line, your regular season doesn't mean jack.

posted by dyams at 10:00 AM on October 20

Nice list, Hal. I didn't realize that my Texas Rangers are the oldest franchise in baseball to have never reached the World Series -- 44 years and counting. I don't think the Giants should be included on the list of titleless franchises. If the Rangers' futility in Washington counts towards their place in baseball shame, the Giants' success in New York counts as well.

posted by rcade at 10:05 AM on October 20

Well it must be CHOKETOBER again. The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisper, wood smoke in the air and the Cardinals once again embarrass the city and their fans. As much as I like Larry Walker, why wasn't Taguchi playing?

posted by budman13 at 10:12 AM on October 20

...Cardinals once again embarrass the city and their fans. What the hell is wrong with people? Anyone around the game for more than 162 games knows Mo is only as good as your next starting pitcher. Oswalt was electric. He had a no-no going into the 5th, for chrissake. He would have beaten any team last night. He was that good. The Cardinals, or any other team, just can't overcome dominating pitching with an average lineup. Oswalt's performance ranks right up there with Schill's last year. /rant

posted by smithnyiu at 10:26 AM on October 20

Embarass the city? I can think of a lot worse. If there is anything to embarass St. Louis, it's the beer.

posted by cl at 10:28 AM on October 20

If there is anything to embarass St. Louis, it's the beer. Heh.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 10:39 AM on October 20

I gotta agree with Smith Oswalt did it. Helped that team rebound pitched a hell of a game he looked determined to get his guys in the WS. I really can't wait for the series it seems like it really is gonna be crap shoot, no team is the clear favorite.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:55 AM on October 20

Look at Mulder's performance in post season. He hasnt ever been there for his team in big playoff games! Didn't Fox say last night that his post-season ERA was 1.98 before the game? Granted, he's never been in an LCS, but that's a pretty solid stat. He still looked like creamed shit last night, though. If there is anything to embarass St. Louis, it's the beer. You've obviously never had Schlafly.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:04 AM on October 20

You've obviously never had Schlafly. I haven't, but it sounds lovely. I should have written "The Beer."

posted by cl at 11:26 AM on October 20

Why do you think Billy Bean got rid of Mulder? I think the cardinals fans know the answer. Because the package of players he received in return and the difference in (future) salary allowed Beane to continue building the A's while maintaining a payroll that his bosses would have no problem with. So, except for this game, Mulder was a damn fine pitcher in the playoffs, and one of the more consistent pitchers in the regular season (career ERA < 4.00 in the DH-filled AL). The Cardinals got a good pitcher for the regular season and the playoffs. Why? What do you think the reason was?

posted by grum@work at 11:55 AM on October 20

Cardinals once again embarrass the city and their fans 9 wins. 3rd all-time. Have you considered a move to NYC?

posted by yerfatma at 12:05 PM on October 20

I've never seen a team with so much "MO", look so defeated after only two innings. After Oswalt fanned Pujols, he wasn't going to be touched. The next three batters looked scared to death. Good Job, Oswalt! Congrats Astros!

posted by tb_mitchell at 01:07 PM on October 20

I'm looking forward to this one for sure! I truly believed that after losing to Boston last year that the Cards would be ready this year. At the same time, I have to tip my hat to a truly great season by the Astros. From May to end of season, they may have been the best in baseball. Everyone around Chicago is thinking that the Sox have this one in the bag. Well, I have to believe that with all the amazing similarities betwee these 2 teams that pitching will dominate and hitting will be slight. I predicted Cards vs. Indians right before the regular seasons end so I'm going to instead make my WISH prediction. ASTROS in 7. The Sox losing would make me quite happy in all ways. First, the Sox would lose. Second, it would shut all the people in this city up about how great the Sox are when in reality they are only good because of an awesome pitching staff. Face it, they are not anywhere near great in most of the hitting catagories. Lastly, and most importantly, THEY WILL LOSE!. At that point, We can go on cheering for other losers in our wonderful city for the winter such as the Bears and Blackhawks and continue to be the city with the greatest fans having the worst teams.

posted by melcarek69 at 01:44 PM on October 20

Hal Incandenza: It's interesting to note that in 2003, we (as fans) were robbed of what would have been a truly epic World Series- Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs, one of those matchups that was literally "apocalyptic" joke fodder before 2004. While this year's matchup is nowhere near that level of crazed fandom and history-steeped baseball lore- as insomnyuk wryly notes with his "tv executive's eye view"- it is nevertheless comforting for beleagured fans everywhere that this year, yet again some team will end its long-time suffering. The White Sox haven't won since 1917, and haven't even been in a World Series since 1959; the Astros of course have never even been in the World Series before in their 44 year history as a franchise. This is the World Series in which both participants have had to wait 40+ years to make a Fall Classic appearance. In the entire history of the event, the only previous Series that even came close to such a matchup was 1948 (featuring the Indians and Braves, who at the time were quenching respective pennant droughts of "merely" 28 and 34 years, respectively).

posted by Motown Mike at 02:14 PM on October 20

White Sox are getting ready.

posted by yerfatma at 02:16 PM on October 20

Boy, melcarek69, I sure do hate it when the team I root for is "only good because of an awesome pitching staff." Roughly 28 other teams in baseball should be so lucky to have such problems. And regarding the hitting, uh, the Sox are averaging more runs than any other team in the postseason. I think it should be a great series. I haven't seen the pitching matchups yet, but I'm leaning (hoping...praying...) Sox in 6.

posted by Brett at 03:10 PM on October 20

Speaking of the socks, I heard mention on the radio that bandwagon fans who cheered for the Red Sox last year and the White Sox this year are officially bisoxual. Thought it was funny enough to share, but not funny enough to attempt to take credit for.

posted by bigrobbieb at 06:37 PM on October 20

Actually, that's pretty funny, bigrobbieb- thanks for sharing that one, gonna have to pass that on. :) I'm not sure how I'm rooting in this series, even though I picked Houston in 7 in the WS pick'em thread over at the LR. On the one hand, the White Sox have a looooong history of not winning the WS, like their crosstown compatriots, and they've not been in the WS longer than the Astros (who are making their first appearance). On the other hand, as roycedawg plaintively comments, Chicago has had plenty of sports love with the Bears and Bulls, while towns like Cleveland have had much less. Houston has some recent titles with the Rockets, but that's about it. And the Astros have been taking shots at it the last few years, while the Sox are more of a "where did they come from?" surprise- part of me feels the Sox should come up short a couple of times before winning, that these one-shot wonders like the Diamondbacks or the Marlins are almost... sacriligious, like they haven't paid their dues. Hm... I guess in the end, as a gambling man I'll pick the Astros to actually win, but root for the Sox to finally bring some baseball glory back to Chicago. If I could, I'd pick the Cubs as a franchise to win it all out of Chicago, but beggars can't be choosers. After the Red Sox won, I'd like to see all these long-suffering teams get their glory, and why not start in Chicago, who've waited longer than any other team? But whatever the result, I'll be happy for the team that wins.

posted by hincandenza at 07:33 PM on October 20

On the one hand, the White Sox have a looooong history of not winning the WS Actually, they won in 1906 (beating the Cubs) and 1917 (against the Giants), threw the series to the Reds in 1919, and lost fair and square to the Dodgers in 1959. (They also won the pennant in 1901, but that was before there was a World Series.) So they've won half of the World Series they've been in, and they probably would've won in 1919. I'm kirkaracha, and I'm bisoxual.

posted by kirkaracha at 08:50 PM on October 20

May the better team win BRETT. Should be fun!

posted by melcarek69 at 09:05 PM on October 20

justgary even said he was preserving the thread by making it strictly about the WS while this one is specifically about the Houston/St. Louis game. :( :( :( Sorry Hal, like rcade said, just crossed wires. I tried =(

posted by justgary at 12:15 AM on October 21

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