(Via Yahoo Sports) The Houston Astros comeback season has been filled with defining moments and notable victories. On Wednesday, they added another to each category by defeating the Yankees 6-2 in the Bronx.
Not only did the victory give them a series win on the road — where they’ve struggled for stretches this season — against another postseason contender, it gave them 71 wins on the season, which topped their 70 wins all of last season.
That’s obviously significant for several reasons, but perhaps the most significant is that it’s only Aug. 26 and they still have 34 games left to play. For another point of reference, they were 56-77 on this date last season, so their 71-57 mark now is a vast improvement.
The Astros bout with futility goes back much further than the 2014 season though. In fact, the Astros had not won more than 70 in a season since 2010, when they went 76-86. The good news is that the long term rebuilding plan they’ve had in place since is definitely working, and now they seem poised to overturn much of the misery their fans have endured over the past decade.
Of course, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Among the milestones that lie ahead: The Astros are still looking to secure their first winning season since 2008. They need to go just 11-23 to make that happen. More importantly, they’re looking to snap a nine-year postseason drought. With Wednesday’s win, they now hold a five-game lead over the second place Texas Rangers.
Indeed, things are looking up in Houston, and Wednesday’s win is another good example of the organization’s renewed confidence and the relentless style they’ve played with all season. For the second time in 24 hours, they made quick work of a Yankees starter on the heels of a difficult 1-0 loss on Monday.
In Tuesday’s 15-1 win, Houston scored seven runs off Ivan Nova in four-plus innings, On Wednesday, they knocked out Michael Pineda after 4 1/3 innings. The Astros scored one in the first on an Evan Gattis home run, before breaking the game open with four runs on four hits in the fifth. Carlos Gomez, who was right in the middle of Tuesday’s tensions, started the inning with an infield single and it snowballed from there.
Gattis, by the way, would bookend Houston’s scoring with another solo home run in the eighth. He has 22 on the season to go along with his unlikely nine triples and 16 doubles.
Also of note, the Astros have not allowed more than two runs in any of their last nine games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s a franchise record and the longest such streak in the AL since 1991.
There’s a lot to like about this Houston team, and with each passing day there’s more reason to believe they’re equipped to run deep into October.
This triumph in New York is just the latest loud and clear message they’ve sent. Now they’ll look to do the same this weekend in Minnesota against a surging Twins team looking to snap their postseason drought.