The Astros are a win away from advancing to the ALCS, and they could clinch their spot on the anniversary of one of the team’s greatest moments.It was on this day in 2005 that the Astros then in the National League and Braves played an 18-inning marathon in Game 4 of the NLDS, with utility player Chris Burke finally ending things with a walk-off homer to send the ‘Stros to the next round. Let’s remember: Chris Sale Jersey And now, the rest of the story.That ending was made po sible by an improbable previous 17 innings. The Braves, trailing in the series 2-1, had jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the thirdinning, thanksto a grand slam from Adam LaRoche, and eventually led 6-1 going to the bottom of the eighth.MORE: Every MLB team’s worst postseason memory, revisitedAfter Braves starter Tim Hudson gave up a walk and hit to start the inning, manager Bobby Cox brought inreliever Kyle Farnsworth and that’s when things unraveled completely.Before long, the Astros had the bases loaded for Lance Berkman, who, of course, hit a grand slam to make the score 6-5.Fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros were down to Dustin Pedroia Jersey their final out, still down 6-5, with a Game 5 back in Atlanta looming.With Farnsworth still on the mound for the Braves, Houston’s last hope was Brad Ausmus, who, of course, homered to tie the game. From there, the game devolvedinto complete madne s.For the next eight innings, the Braves and Astros took turns getting runners in scoring position and then stranding them. Julio Franco, at age 46, entered the game in the eighth inning and got five at-bats.Roger Clemenspitched three innings in relief for Houston. Madne s.Then, after 5 hours 50 minutes at the time the longest postseason game in history Burke finally, mercifully turned one kind of madne s into anotherwith his homer into the Crawford Boxes in the bottom of the 18th.The victim of the homer was Braves reliever Joey Devine, who, just a few months earlier, was pitching in college for N.C. State.Final score: Astros 7, Braves 6.Though both teams wasted opportunities to end things way before the 18th inning, it was an especially frustrating experience for the Braves, who went 1 for 18 with runners in scoring postilion and stranded 18 runners. It was the team’s last postseason appearance for five years.MORE: Remembering the Astros’ various postseason failuresFor the Astros, though, the homer provided a rarehappy ending in the postseason after a series of heartbreakers dating to 1980. It alsoprovided a spark that fueled the team all the way to the World Series, though they fell short there swept bythe White Sox.For Burke, the walk-off homer represented https://www.redsoxedge.com/boston-red-sox/christian-vazquez-jersey the pinnacle of his career. He played parts of six season in the majors, ama sing a slash line of.315/.359/.674 with 23 career home runs, though he did hit another homer in the ’05 NLCS against the Cardinals, when he batted .300 and collected six hits.It remains to be seen whether the Astros will get past the Red Sox in this year’s ALDS, but should it happen today on the anniversary of Burke’s big blast,it would be a nice confluence of postseason feels for the Astros and their fans.
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