KEEPING IT RAHEEL

Raheel Ramzanali: 7 (maybe 6) answers from the Twitter mailbag

It is time to play ask Raheel... Courtesy photo

I am a man of the people and every once in a while I like to open up the Twitter Mailbag to see how I can give back by answering some questions from my most passionate fans. So, without further ado, here is the Twitter Mailbag:

  1. Okay I lied, first I have to post the best quote I’ve ever seen explaining a person that I couldn’t describe before when trying to explain why I do or don’t like him. This comes from CBSSports and their annual dry snitching Coaches questionnaire. One coach perfectly summed up Lane Kiffin: "I'm probably a little jealous [of Lane Kiffin]. If you're born on third base, that's great, but don't think you hit a triple."

  2. Can we move Steve (Francis) to the 2? -@Migunderscore | The funny thing is that in today’s NBA where point guards are allowed to be prolific scorer, Steve would have fit right in. Now he would have had to improve his shot a bit, but man, Steve in today’s NBA with more possessions and celebrating of scoring would have killed it.

  3. How do you like your eggs?   Are you a fan of player only trips to Bahamas? -@ChrisMartin21 |  I love this Bahamas trip for the Houston Rockets players. As I grow older, the one thing I miss about my teenage years is hanging out with my friends at basketball tournaments. Some of my favorite memories are from being in a city with my friends and battling it out on the court AND sharing tons of laughs off it. Team chemistry and bonding is something that is sometimes overlooked in pro sports, but a group of guys that are close can do some amazing things. I like my eggs sunny side up with a side of hashbrowns. Also, please stop putting eggs on every damn thing. Eggs don’t belong on a burger.

  4. What 90’s RomCom would still be enjoyed by millennials today and why? Also, do you spread jelly before PB or PB before Jelly? -@JustinVanSant  | A double banger of questions! The right answer is 10 Things I Hate About You. Want a lifehack? Spread your PB and jelly in any order, but instead of eating it, give it a quick fry on a pan and melt the PB plus add a nice toast to the bread. MAGIC!

  5. Which Texas school has the best record after this college football season? -@ChaseHernandez | Easy, the Longhorns. Hook em.

  6. Which Houston athlete has the best hair? -@BSmith713rd | My top three are: Gerald Green, Clowney, and the winner is the Piña himself, Yuli Gurriel.

  7. Why is baseball so boring? -@Fro_Not_Banned | I don’t think baseball is boring, but it isn’t the most exciting of all the sports I watch. I will say, when your team is making a run and is in the World Series, the drama is second to none. There is something beautiful about baseball players making huge plays with limited opportunities. Look, football and basketball players have so many chances to impact the game. A position player will get 3-4 at-bats and maybe less than 10 to 5 chances to make an impact on defense. That is wild.

 

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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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