Wear it well

Raheel Ramzanali: Ranking the must-have World Series gear

A picture with the World Series trophy does not suck. Sportingnews.com

Yesterday I spent the day in front of Minute Maid Park before the home opener for our World Series Champions and I saw literally every iteration of World Series gear being worn by fans. This had me thinking, is there a definitive list of the best World Series gear out there? Turns out there isn’t. So, before you spend your hard earned money on even more World Series gear, check out this list of five essentials you need to have in your Astros closet:

  1. 2018 Gold Program Jersey - This is the crown jewel of all World Series gear. If there is one thing you spend money on to commemorate then please buy the gold lettered jersey that will always be a reminder of the achievements from the World Series. The harder decision will be which player you pick for your jersey. I went with Correa because of the most upside, but you can’t go wrong with a Springer jersey to celebrate the MVP of the World Series.  This is a hard debate because this jersey represents the World Series win so do you pick the best player from it or your favorite player? Like, we don’t need to see somebody rocking a Reddick or Giles Gold Program jersey at Minute Maid Park this season.

  2. World Series Locker Room Cap - When I first saw the cap last year, I thought it was “meh” at best. But, after seeing it on every fan out there, I’m officially adding this to the list of must-haves. Few things will be more synonymous to this title than this big bold lettered cap with the bronze overtone. This is the ultimate ice breaker for any Houston fan when traveling. It clearly lets everyone know what you’re all about, “WORLD SERIES CHAMPS”. We should make it a law that every fan should own this one ballcap.

  3. A Picture with the Commissioner’s Trophy - While not an official thing to buy, every fan needs to get a picture with the trophy at some point this year. There will be PLENTY of opportunities to see the trophy in person around town so make sure you capture this (usually) free must-have from the World Series run.

  4. World Series Champions Trophy Paperweight - Look, I was going to tell you to buy a season recap DVD and such, but those are usually available online for free on YouTube. Don’t waste money on a DVD you’ll never watch when you can buy a paperweight and decorate your desk. I’ve sat in a cubicle from 9-5 and I put up things that reminded me of good times to help me get through the day. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a reminder that your team won the World Series AND that they have a game that night so you have something to watch when you get home.

October Proven T-shirt - I LOVE a good slogan and nothing is more of a EFF YOU than the October Proven. Only one team is allowed to wear this slogan and this is a shirt that you need have in your closet. This is also the perfect road game t-shirt to wear. Nothing like walking around with a slogan on the road saying that you’re accomplished something nobody else has, winning the 2017 World Series!

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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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