The Astros could not get it done when it mattered most

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Houston's season comes to a disappointing end with World Series Game 7 loss to Nationals

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The 2019 Astros had the best regular season in franchise history, and one of the best all-around rosters, ever. They battled against the Rays to win a Game 5 in the best-of-five ALDS, then defeated the powerful Yankees in the ALCS. They fell behind 0-2 in the World Series, then rattled off three impressive road wins to come back to Houston for the final two games. Yet, the Astros' season has come to an end with a disappointing loss in World Series Game 7.

The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in World Series Game 7, completing an unprecedented stretch of seven games where the road team won every game. The loss prevents the Astros from winning their second World Series. Here is a breakdown of Game 7:

Final Score: Nationals 6, Astros 2.

Series: Nationals win 4-3.

Winning Pitcher: Patrick Corbin.

Losing Pitcher: Will Harris.

Gurriel puts Houston in front early

As expected, Game 7 started as a low-scoring affair, with both Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke keeping their opponent from blowing the game open early. It was Houston who would get a pivotal early run, though, thanks to a solo home run by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the second to put the Astros ahead 1-0.

Astros extend the lead while Greinke puts on a defensive clinic

While the Astros were getting runners on base and making Scherzer work for every out, Greinke was doing exactly what the Astros went out and got him for at the trade deadline. He was fantastic in the early innings, getting quick innings thanks to several gems by himself on defense.

Carlos Correa would help give him another run to work with, getting a two-out RBI-single to make it 2-0 to finally give the Astros a hit with runners in scoring position after struggling to that point. The Nationals moved to their bullpen in the bottom of the sixth after Scherzer reached 103 pitches through his five innings while allowing two runs. First out was Patrick Corbin, who would erase a leadoff single by pinch-hitting Jake Marisnick after a strikeout and double play.

Washington fights back with a big seventh

In the top of the seventh, Greinke remained in the game and would allow Washington's first run of the game, a solo home run to Anthony Rendon to cut the lead in half at 2-1. He would walk Juan Soto next, ending his night as A.J. Hinch would come to get him and move on to Will Harris. Harris, who allowed his first runs of the postseason the night before, would falter again in this game, giving up a go-ahead two-run home run to Howie Kendrick to make it a 3-2 Nationals lead.

Harris would allow a single in the next at-bat, getting pulled before recording an out. Houston would bring in their closer to try and stop the bleeding, and Roberto Osuna would get the last two outs of the seventh. That would finalize Greinke's line on the night: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.

Nationals add to the lead and take the series

Corbin would hold the Astros scoreless again in the bottom of the seventh, and then in the top of the eighth, the Nationals extended their lead off of Osuna, who remained in the game, getting an RBI-single by Juan Soto to make it 4-2. The Nationals would get another single, and Houston would move on to Ryan Pressly to try and get the last out of the eighth, which he would do.

The Nationals stuck with Corbin in the bottom of the eighth, and he would record another scoreless inning to put Washington three outs away from the win. Joe Smith was next out of Houston's bullpen to try and keep it a two-run game and give his team a chance to rally in the bottom half. He would get only one out before loading the bases, bringing in Jose Urquidy. Urquidy would allow the dagger, a two-RBI single up the middle to Adam Eaton, to push it to a 6-2 lead for Washington.

In the bottom of the ninth, down four runs, the Astros had the top of their lineup against the new reliever for Washington, Daniel Hudson. They would come away empty, watching the Nationals win the World Series and begin their celebration inside Minute Maid Park.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

Getty Images

So the Houston Astros, using cameras and video monitors and a labyrinthine baseball-bat-and-trash-can notification system, were stealing signs from opposing teams. From all indications, this is cheating and this is not kosher.

Let me just clarify that:

You are allowed to steal signs, you just can't do it electronically. In other words, it is really not wrong until you utilize the best means of technology.

Got it. I accept this, because, well, I don't feel like arguing this.

(I guess I'm glad the medical profession doesn't use this same standard. Uh, we could treat your headaches with Ibuprofen and heating pads, but let's stick with the ancient method of an elixir containing human blood and drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure.)

The Astros deserved MLB's punishment, but, as a student of history, Couch Slouch would like to point out that there have been multiple instances of similar swindling, defrauding, scamming, flimflamming, hoodwinking, fleecing, shafting, video-sign-stealing chicanery in modern and pre-modern times.

For your edification, here are some prominent examples:

Socrates and Plato: In an attempt to outsmart his perpetually smug teacher at the third annual Greek National Spelling Bee held at the Grand Hyatt Athens in 401 B.C., Plato sparked controversy by employing shadow puppets on the brightly lit north wall of the banquet hall to help him spell out different entries. The winning word: "aëricumbens."

Marie Antoinette: The somewhat unpopular queen of France hired a sketch artist to secretly document agitators cutting into bread lines. Once the drawings were discovered, along with a recording of her saying, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" she was guillotined on Oct. 16, 1793 outside of a Le Pain Quotidien just before the lunch rush.

Burr-Hamilton duel: On the morning of July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton met at a dueling ground in Weehawken, N.J., near Bed Bath & Beyond. They agreed to stand back-to-back, then each would take 10 paces before firing. But Burr had one of his seconds hold a large vanity mirror in front of him, so he could see precisely where Hamilton was at the conclusion of the 10 steps. Burr then fired a fatal shot into Hamilton's lower abdomen.

Battle of the Little Bighorn: As George Armstrong Custer led U.S. troops toward Little Bighorn Valley on June 25, 1876, Lakota chief Crazy Horse utilized two sublime tactics to outmaneuver the lieutenant colonel: A primitive GPS device, tracking the government soldiers' movement via Pringles left on the incoming trail, combined with smoke signals sent back to the camp. This allowed Native American forces to ambush Custer and his infantry.

"Rear Window": In direct violation of HOA regulations, photographer J.J. "Jeff" Jefferies – confined to his condo because of a broken leg – routinely used binoculars to eavesdrop on his Greenwich Village neighbors in 1954. This led him to witnessing a marital spat, followed by his suspicions that the husband killed his wife and buried something incriminating in the garden. The neighbor was arrested but eventually acquitted of murder charges while Jefferies got convicted under the city's recently enacted peeping Tom laws.

Macy's vs. Gimbels: During the famed department-store rivalry in the 1960s and '70s, Gimbels – using a Polaroid camera with a telephoto lens – took snapshots of Macy's shoppers' credit cards as they paid at the register to steal customers. Did Gimbels tell Macy's? No. But Macy's found out through an anonymous whistleblower; Gimbels lost face and went out of business in 1986.

New York City garbage strike: Boy, the streets sure stank of garbage when the sanitation workers walked out in 1968. Teamsters leaders sped up talks the old-fashioned way – they woke up city negotiators each morning with one trash can thrown through a living room window, with two trash cans on off-days and three on weekends. When all else failed, they took a baseball bat to Mayor John Lindsay's office and asked him if he wanted to step outside.

New England Patriots: Uh, duh.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Agent Drew Rosenhaus terminated his relationship with Antonio Brown until the free-agent wide receiver seeks help. Exactly what type of help? (Ron Kirkpatrick; Chicago)

A. Frankly, I thought Brown might end his relationship with Rosenhaus until ITAL he END ITAL got help.

Q. Are the regular LSU boosters annoyed they were not invited to personally hand out cash to the players in the Superdome after the championship win? (Mike Soper; Washington, D.C.)

A. Nah, that was scheduled for the Red Lobster in Baton Rouge the following afternoon.

Q. Given their history, would it count toward diversity if the Cleveland Browns hired their first competent coach? (Rich Tucker; Falls Church, Va.)

A. We may never find out.

Q. Would MLB have considered managing the Mets punishment enough for Carlos Beltran's role in the Astros cheating scandal? (Stuart Gavurin; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


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