Houston wins their third straight

Garcia's terrific start helps lift Astros over Red Sox

Luis Garcia had a terrific start Tuesday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After taking the first game of this series in a lopsided win, the Astros tried to make it three-straight wins on Tuesday night. They would do just that, getting an outstanding performance from Luis Garcia, backing him up with runs to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 1

Astros' Record: 30-24, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (4-3)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Richards (4-4)

Houston grabs a lead, Garcia holds it with a quality start

Unlike the series opener, Tuesday's game was a much lower-scoring affair between Boston and Houston. The Astros jumped out in front first, getting a leadoff solo home run by Jose Altuve to start things off in the bottom of the first. Houston doubled the lead in the fourth, getting a sac fly from Chas McCormick to make it 2-0.

That lead was managed well by Luis Garcia, who tossed a terrific game, his second-straight quality start. He allowed just one hit and one walk through the first four innings but then gave up a run in the fifth on two hits to cut the lead in half at 2-1. He followed that up with two more scoreless innings, erasing a hit in each, giving him seven innings of one-run ball to keep his team in front, and leaving just two innings for Houston's bullpen. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 106 P.

Houston takes game two

Houston put the lead back to two runs in the bottom of the seventh, getting two on base with a run coming across on a should-be double-play turned error, allowing the lead to grow to 3-1. They went on to load the bases, bringing in two more runs on a walk by Carlos Correa and a single by Yordan Alvarez, making it 5-1.

Brooks Raley was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, doing his job by sitting down the Red Sox 1-2-3. Ryne Stanek came in to finish things off in the top of the ninth and would get it done to wrap up the victory. The win moves Houston to six games above .500 and gives them a chance to secure this series if they can get their fourth-straight win on Wednesday.

Up Next: These teams will meet for another 7:10 PM Central start for game three of this four-game series on Wednesday night. Framber Valdez (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will make his second start of the year for the Astros, hoping to build upon some strengths his first time out, while Boston will send Nick Pivetta (6-0, 3.86 ERA) out to try and keep his undefeated record.

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The Astros play game one of the ALDS on Tuesday. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

It's October. Fall is upon us. In Texas, that means the high temps won't be above 92 or so. Low temps dip into the low 60s. Your air conditioner only runs for about 50-60% of the time it did during Summer. Well, that depends on your thermostat. NFL and NCAA football seasons are in full swing. NBA training camps and preseason have opened. You get the picture I'm painting here. This is a wonderful time to be a sports fan.

MLB is wrapping up its regular season and the Wild Card series in both leagues are already scheduled. Your Houston Astros won't have to play in one of those. Instead, they'll be waiting to see who they play in the next round (Mariners or Blue Jays). As the team with the best record in the AL this season, they hold home field advantage throughout their stay in the AL playoffs. The path to the World Series will go through Houston.

Seeing this team in this position has become very familiar. Since 2015: they've missed the playoffs once (2016), won their division five times, made three World Series appearances, and have the lone ring from 2017. That ring is lonely because it needs a playmate. That playmate has been elusive. It would also validate the dynasty by helping erase some of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. However, I believe the window may be closing.

For starters, Jim Crane and James Click seem to have some relationship issues. Click is operating without a contract beyond this season. Crane has said he'll address Click's situation after the season. Does this mean they're headed for Splitsville? Justin Verlander will be a free agent. Will he re-sign? If so, how much will he command and will it restrict the team from making other moves? Jose Altuve is getting older. So is Yuli Gurriel (Free Agent), Martin Maldonado, Christian Vazquez (Free Agent), Aledmys Diaz (Free Agent), Will Smith (Free Agent), Hector Neris, and Ryan Pressley. All these guys are 32 years old or older. There are young guns in the pipeline at different positions and on the team already, but they aren't all proven commodities.

That is why I believe the time is now. A sense of urgency must be taken with the opportunity to win it all this year. We can't rest on "we'll be back next year" because next year isn't promised. At some point, things will need to be rebuilt and/or replaced. It took 10 years from their World Series appearance in 2005 and their next playoff spot in 2015. That gap could've been a year or so longer because NOBODY expected them to make it in 2015.

Astros fans have become accustomed to this team being in contention for a title every year. What if the pieces that helped get them get to this point are no longer viable? The fantastic voyage won't last forever. All dynasties come to an end at some point. Unless you're a college team that can consistently reload every year. The one thing I want more than anything else is another World Series win. This would silence the haters by validating 2017, seal some Hall of Fame legacies, and potentially signal the lengthening of the window. They're the John Cena of MLB: their fans LOVE them, their haters HATE them. Ultimately, their time is now.

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