Baseball season lasts from April through September, and, if you are very good, even longer. But even fans of the most mediocre baseball team are guaranteed at least six months with the best outdoor game ever invented that involves a ball.
It's a long season and that's the way it is supposed to be - the way God intended - although, to some of us, the season seems to go by in the blink of any eye. The analogy is often made by sportscasters and writers that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint, and there is truth in that. Teams have to play all 162 games and every inning of every game, but even though it doesn't always seem that way, the games that are played in April count just as much as the games that are played in September. The point being that teams that get off to a slow start can find themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of even before a quarter of the season is over.
That's the position that my favorite team, the Astros, find themselves in this year and almost every year. They are notoriously slow starters, but this year the start has been epically slow. Already they have had TWO eight game losing streaks. It is hard to get up much momentum or much enthusiasm from the fans with a record like that.
But this week, something remarkable has happened with the Astros. They went to St. Louis, the home of their nemesis, the Cardinals, and played three good games in a row! THEY SWEPT THE CARDINALS IN THEIR HOME PARK! Let me just repeat that because it feels so good: THEY SWEPT THE CARDINALS IN THEIR HOME PARK! That's the first time they have done such a thing in St. Louis in about six years.
Today, in the final game of the series, our rookie Bud Norris beat their ace Chris Carpenter 4-1. It just doesn't get much better than that, because Carpenter has virtually owned the Astros over the years.
I don't know how many more such days Astros fans will get this season, but this series has at least been a reminder to us that such days are possible, and that rooting for the Astros is not always a lost cause.
And that old adage about how on any day, any given team can beat any other team? It's still true.