02 Oct

a shining moment

While the Houston Astros are keenly focused on the present, and their pursuit of a playoff berth, the rest of us can sneak a peek back at a big day in the club’s history. On Oct. 2, 2005, the last day of the regular season, Weir’s Roy Oswalt outpitched Greg Maddux as the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 and claimed the National League wild card. Philadelphia, which also won that day, finished a game back. The win was the 20th of the year for Oswalt, the Holmes Community College alum who won 163 over his 13-year career. The ’05 Astros, with a few former Jackson Generals still around (Lance Berkman, Raul Chavez, pitching coach Jim Hickey, bullpen coach Mark Bailey), went on to beat Atlanta in the division series and St. Louis in the NLCS – Oswalt was the MVP – to reach the franchise’s first and only World Series. They lost to the Chicago White Sox in four (with ex-Generals ace Freddy Garcia winning the clincher, oddly enough). P.S. Though he hasn’t officially retired, Cliff Lee doesn’t have a team for 2016 after the Phillies declined to pick up an option on the ex-Meridian CC star’s contract. Lee, 37, didn’t pitch at all this year because of an elbow problem. His career numbers: 143-91, 3.52 ERA in the regular season and 7-3, 2.52 postseason.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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