The Houston Astros thrashed the Chicago White Sox, the winners of the American League Central division, in Game 4 of the Division Series to advance to the next round of the postseason.
That next round is the ALCS, an instance that is becoming the norm in Houston.
They have advanced to the ALCS for five straight years: they won in 2017 and 2019 and lost in 2018 and 2020.
They will try to reach their third World Series in five years against the Boston Red Sox, winners of their ALDS matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the process, the Astros have been surrounded by a lot of outside noise.
People Won’t Forget The Cheating Scandal
They have been reminded about the 2017 cheating scandal, in which they used a complex system that involved outfield cameras to steal opposing teams’ signs.
They relayed these signs to the hitter by banging trash cans.
White Sox fans had been especially harsh on the Astros all year.
Chicago White Sox fans re-enact the Houston Astros garbage can scandal by using blow up props in the ninth inning of a game at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/FvUZJFsG7i
— Chris Sweda (@chris_sweda) July 18, 2021
Despite that, the Astros were able to win the series and overcome the boos and the outside noise.
That “noise” even reached the diamond at one point.
White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera implied that the Astros may have stolen signs against the Sox.
He was talking about Houston’s home-road splits.
Here is the full quote:
“Yeah. It is what it is. They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there. It’s just, we can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to, you know, the first two games at Minute Maid. But that’s not really the story, you know? We come here to play. We’re going to compete. We’re not going to worry about what they’re going to do.”
“Those are some heavy accusations. We’re about the same runs, OPS and everything—actually better on the road than we are at home. I think they’re actually better at home than on the road. I don’t have much response.”
Houston’s players have had to face a lot of adversity on the road this season, but they have managed to stay together and mount another run at the World Series title.
They are well-equipped to do so: during the regular season, seven of the Astros’ regulars had a wRC+ of at least 120.
That means they were at least 20 percent better than their peers, as the wRC+ stat, which means weighted Runs Created Plus, suggests.
An eighth, Alex Bregman, had 115 in an injury-riddled season, but he is a true-talent 120 or 130 wRC+ player when fully healthy.
— MLB (@MLB) October 13, 2021
The Astros offense is insanely good, and if their pitching holds on, they have a good chance of getting their second World Series title in the last five years despite what people say.