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Maybe this is how it’s supposed to end, in a foreign ballpark in front of cardboard fans, with their roster nowhere near whole. Strange, but perhaps, for a team smeared by one of baseball’s biggest cheating scandals, fitting. The Houston Astros — two games below .500 during the 60-game regular season, 5-1 thereafter — have advanced to their fourth consecutive American League Championship Series, a milestone reached by only four other franchises. And it’s hard not to wonder whether this might be it.
This inconceivable baseball season, staged in the middle of a pandemic, might represent the Astros’ last ride.
“We talk about it all the time — away from the ballfield, obviously,” Josh Reddick said. “We’re trying to ride this wave and enjoy it as much as possible.”
Reddick, winding down his fourth season with the Astros, makes up part of an entire starting outfield that will venture into the free-agent market this offseason, alongside Michael Brantley and George Springer, the homegrown superstar who will join J.T. Realmuto among the most coveted free agents. Next year, the Astros will pay their ace, Justin Verlander, and their closer, Roberto Osuna, more than $40