Hilltop Views

Astros continue to make history; Spurs, Rockets start regular season on high note

Brandon Paz

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Astros advance to World Series

From the Colt .45s to the Astros, in the 56-year history of professional baseball in Houston, 2017 marks only the second time the franchise has reached the World Series.

In 2005, the Astros outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series 4-2 to face American League Champions, the Chicago White Sox. The series would leave Houston fans disappointed, failing to win a single game in the series with the White Sox taking the Commissioner’s Trophy to the Windy City.

Now, after starting from the bottom in 2010 and suffering three consecutive 100-plus loss seasons, the Astros have made their way back to the World Series, this time in the American League.

This year’s American League Championship Series saw the New York Yankees, a team supposedly in the middle of rebuilding, fight until the very end against the youthful but skilled Houston Astros team.

Two 2-1 wins in Minute Maid Park had the Astros feeling good heading up to the Bronx. By the time the Yankees had forced a Game 6 with rather convincing wins, the Astros returned back home down 2-3 and faced two must-win games.

The Astros could not have asked for a better situation given the circumstances. Justin Verlander would start Game 6 and play lights-out, allowing no runs and leading the Astros to a 7-1 victory to tie the series up.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch had all his cards ready for Game 7, starting Charlie Morton at the mound but refusing to rule out aces Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander as relievers. After Morton’s five shutout innings, Hinch decided instead to go with another starter to finish the game: Lance McCullers Jr. Four shutout innings and a final fly out to George Springer would not only secure McCullers’ first career save, but it would also secure the Astros’ first American League pennant and their second World Series appearance.

After running through the storied franchises of the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, they will look finish off the last baseball sweetheart in the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last baseball series of the year.

The 2-3-2 format will continue as the Astros will travel to Los Angeles before coming back to Minute Maid Park and try to complete what has become a truly historic season for the Houston Astros.

 

Cowboys steamroll past 49ers

The Dallas Cowboys came out of their bye week and bounced back from two straight losses in convincing fashion against the 49ers by winning 40-10 on Sunday.

The Cowboys’ power tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott made their presence felt. Prescott tossed three touchdowns to go with his 234 yards through the air with one of those passes going to Elliott for a beautiful 72-yard touchdown. Elliott’s long touchdown reception was just one of many highlights on an afternoon where he accounted for 219 yards on 27 touches and three total touchdowns.

Aside from out gaining San Francisco 501-290, the Cowboys’ three fumble recoveries and five sacks kept the 49ers looking for their first win and keeps Dallas within arms reach of the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

Dallas will look to carry the momentum into next week’s important divisional matchup against the Washington Redskins.

 

Texas finishes first NBA week at 5-3

The Houston Rockets opened their season against the Golden State Warriors with a statement 122-121 win in Oakland. Although newly added Chris Paul sat the end of the game against the Warriors because of a bruised knee, Houston has jumped out to a 3-0 record to start the season and will look to continue their streak in the following weeks as they wait for Paul’s injury to completely heal.

The third Rockets win came at the expense of the Dallas Mavericks who finished the first week looking for answers to accompany any win. The Mavs would account for all three of the Texas teams’ losses for the week. Whether against the Grizzlies or the 76ers, Dallas will look to secure their first win of the season at some point during week two.

The final Texas team, the San Antonio Spurs opened with only two games the first week and came out on top against the Timberwolves and Bulls. Although all-star Kawhi Leonard is injured and has yet to see any action, LaMarcus Aldridge’s double-doubles to start the season have helped propel the Spurs to their unbeaten streak and they will continue to look at Aldridge to lead this team to more victories in Leonard’s absence. 

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Astros continue to make history; Spurs, Rockets start regular season on high note