May 16, 2015
Astros 6, Blue Jays 5
W – Feldman (3-4)
L – Francis (1-2)
S – Gregerson (9)
Taking my six-year-old son Scott to an Astros game is a risky proposition due to his naturally fragile state of fandom at his age. In college, amidst five straight losses to OU and the Astros losing the 2004 NLCS and 2005 World Series, I figured out how to enjoy the good things in sports without allowing the bad things to get me down or angry. I’m trying to pass that on to my kids since I want them to be sports fans but don’t want them to be overly pessimistic or, worse, remote-control-throwing hotheads.
It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, though. Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jays was a rollercoaster of emotion, showcasing the highest peaks and lowest valleys of the psyche of a young sports fan (this is the kid that wept face down into the couch when Texas was bounced from the College World Series last year). The kinds of things he was saying during the game also proved to be a good barometer of the game’s events.
Before the game: “The Astros have 23 wins. They’ll definitely be the champions.” (I have tried desperately to temper these expectations.)
Scott Feldman strikes out Devon Travis to open the game: “A strikeout ALREADY?! Now I KNOW they’ll be the champions!”
The Blue Jays score three runs with their next four hitters: “Oh no! Now they can’t be the champions…”
The Astros strand two runners in the bottom of the 1st: “Everything is ruined!!!”
The Astros strand another in the 2nd: “Daddy!!! When is the 0 next to ‘HOU’ going to change to a 4?? The Astros won’t win unless it changes to a 4!”
Evan Gattis hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the third: “It changed to a 2!! That’s not enough to win but everything isn’t ruined anymore!!”
Chris Carter goes yard in the bottom of the 6th to take a 5-3 lead: “They’re going to be the champions again!!”
Marwin Gonzalez goes yard two hitters later: “What if the 6 next to ‘HOU’ changed to a 25? Then they would just stop playing because they’d be the champions forever.”
Heading into the top of the 9th: “They need to open the roof so that everybody downtown can hear how happy we are.”
With a runner on, Luke Gregerson has the Jays down to their last strike: “The Astros are going to win, no matter what.” (I tried desperately to temper these expectations as well.”
Edwin Encarnacion launches a massive train track two-run homer that splits the lighting supports in left center: “Don’t worry, Daddy. The Astros will still win. NO. MATTER. WHAT.”
Hey, maybe the kid is learning after all.
Collin McHugh (4-1, 3.50) goes for the four-game sweep against Mark Buehrle (5-2, 5.54) on Sunday at 1:10pm CDT.