Astros headed to World Series

For the first time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are the American League pennant champions and are competing in the World Series for the first time since 2005. The Astros, who have never won a World Series game, are facing the Major League Basbeall (MLB) best regular season record holder the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of seven game series. With a showdown between two 100 win teams, this Fall Classic is set to be an unforgettable one.
The Astros are no stranger to adversity. After getting swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, losing 100+ games each in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons, and coming up short in the ALDS in 2015, the Astros are hungry for redemption.
It has been a historic season for the Astros, to say the least. Some even argue that this has been the strongest Astros team ever. Led by MVP favorite Jose Altuve and postseason veteran Justin Verlander, the Astros finished the 2017 regular season with a 101-61 record and won the American League West Division for the first time in franchise history. The Astros went on to the ALDS, beating the Boston Red Sox in only four games.
The Astros next challenge was the New York Yankees, who proved to be stiff competition. The Astros initially went up two games on the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, but then were swept in three games in New York. The two teams then headed back to Houston for game six, where the Astros topped the Yankees 7-1, forcing a game seven. On October 22nd, the Houston Astros became the American League Champions, shutting out the Yankees 4-0 in a thriller game seven.
However, things have not always been so great for this team. For the entire city of Houston, 2017 has been a year of hardship. Just eight short weeks ago, Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, a storm that left the fourth largest city in America underwater and thousands of people displaced. While the Astros were on the road at the time of the storm, they were able to return home on Sept. 2 for a series against the New York Mets. Although the majority of the city was still underwater and many were left without homes, thousands of fans gathered at Minute Maid Park on that emotional September day. The Astros, wearing the Houston Strong patches on their jerseys, ironically faced NY Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and were able to come out on top, beating the Mets 12-8. That game marked the beginning of a new focus for the team: to win it all for the city who had been through so much.
A world series championship for this town would mean so much more than just the trophy. While it would in no way take away the devastation that Houston has faced, it is something that this city so desperately needs.
While the city is still in the process of rebuilding, the Astros have given Houstonians not only a distraction, but also the hope that they can bounce back from any adversity they face.

Author: Geri Wissink

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