Today I watched the Houston Astros defeat the Atlanta Braves in an 18 inning duel that was simply the best baseball game I’ve ever seen. This game had everything if you like heart-wrenching, gut checking baseball. The Atlanta Braves took a 5 – 1 lead early on with a grand slam and added another run for “padding” a few innings later and took a 6 – 1 lead into the bottom of the 8th inning. Lance Berkman hit a grand slam for the Astros in the 8th to bring the Astros within 1 with a 6 – 5 score. After holding the Braves scoreless in the top of the 9th all looked hopeless with the Astros at bat, bottom of the 9th, and two outs. Brad Ausmus came to the plate and blasted a solo home run to send the game into extra innings. And what a duel it was for 9 more innings, a stretch that showed great pitching from so many pitchers on both sides I couldn’t count them all. The Astros bullpen was totally empty so they asked the Rocket, legendary Roger Clemens to enter the game in the unlikely role of relief pitcher. And that’s exactly what he did for 3 full innings, holding the Braves at bay like the true champion he is. The game finally came to a glorious end when Chris Burke stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run to give the Astros the victory and send them to the National League Championship series against St. Louis.
This game was not only incredible because my Astros were victorious, it also set many Major League records such as most innings in a post-season game, only game ever with two grand slams and for being longest post-season game ever lasting over 6 hours. I have never seen a game where all the players gave everything they had and then some, leaving it all on the field in the quest for victory. Houston played an amazing 22 players over the course of this game and had not one player left on the bench for relief pitching nor for pitch hitting. Roger Clemens himself had to bat two times because they had no one to send in his place. Absolutely incredible baseball. We are proud of our Astros, can you tell?