The last stand of the Houston Astros core four

    ESPN MLB insider
    Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

HOUSTON — Here, there are no chants. Just cheers. Here, the Houston Astros are not pariahs. Just heroes. Here, the rest of America’s opinion registers as white noise. Just as the ubiquitous T-shirts around the city say: H-Town vs. Everyone.

And now, thanks to Houston’s 9-5 come-from-behind Game 5 victory, it is here that the 117th World Series will resume at 8:09 p.m. ET Tuesday. The Astros salvaged their season Sunday, saving themselves from the indignity of watching the Atlanta Braves celebrate a championship at home, and they did so with the vestiges of their last championship team leading the way.

A week ago, that would have registered as no surprise, seeing as Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman are who they are. Over the first four games of the World Series, though, that quartet had gone a combined 10-for-59 with five runs and six RBIs. In Game 5, they went 8-for-19, scored six times and drove in four. They looked, for the first time all series, like the Astros of old, the ones who had reached five consecutive American League Championship Series.

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