Astros Look to Solidify Postseason Spot with Finale Win 

Astros Look to Solidify Postseason Spot with Finale Win 

--Astros and Diamondbacks both clinched playoffs, but Astros vie for AL West title with a win.
--Diamondbacks' remarkable comeback from a 110-loss season to playoffs is historic.
--Pitching showdown between Javier and Nelson adds drama to the season's final clash in Phoenix.

Oct.1:In Sunday’s showdown between the Houston Astros and the Arizona Diamondbacks, both teams have already secured their spot in the postseason. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing at stake as they battle it out in Phoenix.

Houston (89-72) locked in at least a wild-card berth with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Arizona (84-77) on Saturday. But the Astros aren’t content with just that; they have their sights set on the American League West championship. A win against the Diamondbacks, coupled with a loss by the Texas Rangers against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, could clinch them the division title. If this scenario plays out, both the Astros and Rangers would share identical 90-72 records, but Houston would claim the top spot due to their nine-game-to-four season series victory.

The AL West champion not only gets the No. 2 seed but also secures a precious first-round bye. Meanwhile, the runner-up will have to face an extra postseason round. Houston manager Dusty Baker emphasized their determination, saying, “We came to play, and we’ve got action tomorrow (Sunday). That (Saturday) was a huge game for us.”

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On the other side, Arizona earned their wild-card spot in the National League playoffs after the Cincinnati Reds suffered a 15-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. This news came just half an hour before the Diamondbacks’ loss to the Astros. Remarkably, Arizona has rebounded from a season where they endured 110 losses, making them the third team in MLB history to go from such a challenging season to clinching a playoff spot in just three years, alongside this year’s Baltimore Orioles and the 2013-15 Astros.

The Diamondbacks, led by manager Torey Lovullo, are heading to the postseason for the first time since 2017. They’ll face either the Philadelphia Phillies or Milwaukee Brewers in their first postseason game on Tuesday, depending on their final position in the wild-card standings. This journey has been a roller coaster ride for Arizona, from being tied for the NL West lead at the All-Star break to experiencing a rough 10-26 stretch in July and August. However, they bounced back, winning 11 out of 13 games to secure their playoff spot.

Astros Look to Solidify Postseason Spot
Astros Look to Solidify Postseason Spot

First baseman Christian Walker, who leads the Diamondbacks with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs, reflected on their journey, saying, “Looking back, I’m glad that we didn’t start to do any big knee-jerk reactions to rewrite how we’re going to win.” This resilience has made them a better team.

Corbin Carroll, a strong contender for the NL Rookie of the Year Award, has been impressive with a .285 batting average, 25 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 54 stolen bases.

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Meanwhile, the Astros, defending World Series champions, are making their seventh consecutive postseason appearance. On Sunday, they will rely on right-hander Cristian Javier (9-5, 4.73 ERA) to take the mound against Arizona left-hander Kyle Nelson (7-3, 3.88). Javier has a positive history against the Diamondbacks, with a 1-0 record and a 2.51 ERA in four career games, including two starts. Nelson, on the other hand, has limited experience against the Astros, with just two-thirds of a scoreless inning pitched in his lone career appearance.

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Ingrid Mueller

Ingrid Mueller, a literary expert with a Ph.D. in Literature from Yale University, brings a touch of artistry to her writing. Her critical analyses and cultural insights provide a fresh perspective on trending news. Ingrid's articles are a treat for those seeking a deeper understanding of the world around them. Explore the trends through her unique lens.

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