Astros Have Game 7 Of The World Series At Home. These Are Moments We Live For.

Here are five things outside of a mere championship that are at stake in tonight’s Game 7

Sean Pendergast
October 30, 2019 - 12:53 pm

There’s a Game 7 in our town tonight, with one of our teams playing for a world championship. Most sports fans don’t even need one hand worth of fingers to count how many times a team they’ve rooted for has been involved in a one-game, winner-take-all matchup. 

THESE are the moments we live for, right? (And yes, these are the moments that might kill us, too. I’ve come to grips with that.) 

Ostensibly, we know what’s at stake — a 2019 World Series championship for our Houston Astros. Champagne showers, the raising of the trophy, people running through downtown half naked… GOOD TIMES! 

But amidst the big picture, there are lots of subplots for tonight’s game, so without further ado, here are five things outside of a mere championship that are at stake in tonight’s Game 7:

1. The Astros staying in the “dynasty”conversation

A win tonight will give the Houston Astros two titles in a three-year period, which in the era of free agency and roster upheaval, is enough to begin a conversation about a dynasty, perhaps baseball’s

best chance at a dynasty since the Yankees of 1996-2001. 

The San Francisco Giants won three titles between 2010 and 2014, in each of the even numbered years, but in the odd numbered years, they didn’t even make the postseason. 

Win or lose tonight, the Astros have been installed as a +500 favorite to win the 2020 championship, but they need the 2019 title to have some good offseason “dynasty” talk.

2. Protection from a deluge of “karma” takes from national media

Here in Houston, the Astros are beloved, despite their warts (some of which have been on full display in the last two weeks…*cough* TAUBMAN *cough*). If the Astros lose tonight, brace yourself for the flood of tweets from the national media that include the word “karma.” 

In their minds, a loss in seven games (with a whopping 0-4 record at home) would be karma for the poor handling of the Brandon Taubman situation, karma for alleged sign-stealing, hell for some, karma for the humid weather we’ve had until the last five days. 

This also means there is a roughly 150 percent chance we get an awful “Houston, we have a problem” take from multiple media outlets.

3. George Springer’s historical context

If the Astros win tonight, the frontrunner to take home the World Series MVP has to be Springer, who has an astronomical OPS of 1.265 in the series, and seems to be in the middle of every significant rally. He is the heart and soul of this team. An MVP award for the Series would be Springer’s second in three seasons, and would make him just the third player with two World Series MVP awards. 

For what it’s worth, Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Sandy Koufax are the other two. I think Springer may have gotten too late of a start to get into an overall Hall of Fame conversation, but if he is going to get inside the velvet rope of discussion, at least, in a few years, two World Series MVP awards are a nice place to start.

4. Masking Verlander’s failures

After his outing last night, Justin Verlander is now 0-6 in his career in the World Series. As many historical postseason lists of GOOD that guys like Altuve and Springer continue to climb aboard, seeing Verlander as literally the worst pitcher in World Series history from a won-loss standpoint is jarring. Verlander didn’t win a game in the 2017 World Series either, obviously, but no one brings it up because the Astros ended up winning, and winning in memorable fashion! 

You had to go pretty far down the page to find Verlander’s performance on the list of things Astro fans care about with respect to the 2017 World Series. A win tonight would have a similar

effect on this postseason’s performance by Verlander. 

If there’s a player who likely won’t play tonight that needs this win more, show me who he is.

5. Greinke getting the “Charlie Morton” Treatment

So now, here comes Zack Greinke, Jeff Luhnow’s big trade deadline acquisition, who was brought in here specifically to put the Astros over the top and win another World Series. Now, the quirky right-hander LITERALLY gets a chance to do just that. 

If Greinke is able to go out and give

a vintage Greinke performance, like the kind that made him the highest paid pitcher in baseball, he will get the Charlie Morton Treatment, under which you never pay for a meal or drink ever again if you post a significant pitching performance in a Game 7.

GAME 7 PREDICTION: Astros 6, Nationals 4, Sean Pendergast 3 gallons of Jameson whiskey consumed

Listen to Sean Pendergast on “Payne and  Pendergast,” mornings 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and follow him on Twitter @SeanTPendergast.