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Before this past week, the Houston Astros' rise from the cellar of the AL West to being in the thick of the 2015 playoff race was already a fun story. However, the fun factor kicked into high gear last week for the Astros, and they went from being a fun story to being the must-see team of Major League Baseball and it was for one reason: Walk-offs. So. Many. Walk-offs.
Well, there was also a no-hitter that happened for the Astros last week, but there will be more about that later. The point is that the Astros are either really lucky in the late stages of baseball games, or they've just gotten really good at winning games in walk-off style. They lead the league with seven such wins, and they've gotten four of them in the past eight days. It's gotten to the point where the crew at The Crawfish Boxes is wondering whether they should keep the phrase "late game heroics" in the drafts of every game recap. That's a pretty good problem to have if you're an Astros fan.
It's just a good time in general to be an Astros fan. Houston's got so much young and dynamic talent (with Carlos Correa being chief among that group) at their disposal that's still mixed with veteran talent that was brought in at the trade deadline. As a result, the Astros are in a very good position to not only compete for this year, but for the future, as well. Still, they appear to be seizing the moment right now. Like Paul Wall in 2005 (the last time Houston made the playoffs, mind you), the Astros have got the internet going nuts and it's because they've brought Clutch City back.
- Speaking of the aforementioned no-hitter, there was controversy surrounding Mike Fiers and his glove during the game. The Dodgers had no issue with it, and MLB announced that they had no issue with it, so apparently there's no issue here.
- Uganda made a splash at the Little League World Series when they upset the Dominican Republic. Is a potential baseball powerhouse budding in this East African country?
- Ruben Amaro is probably not going to be the GM of the Phillies for much longer. However, would it be so bad if Philadelphia kept him on as GM?
- Congratulations to Adrian Beltre for becoming the all-time leader in games played among Dominicans. It's just another milestone in what's been an amazing career.
- With that said, Beltre didn't last long in the 2,528th game of his career. He got ejected in Detroit in the top of the fifth inning on Sunday for something he didn't even do.
- Jose Reyes has had a taste of what it's like to play for a non-contender in 2015, and he despises the taste.
- Andy Pettite made a small bit of history on Sunday, as he became the first admitted PED user to have his number retired by an MLB team.
- So, Ben Cherington's services as an MLB executive are on the market. Could the Cardinals be a potential landing spot for the former Red Sox exec?
- In the meantime, Cherington's departure from Boston means that it's time for Dave Dombrowski to put his footprint on the Red Sox as a new era dawns in Boston.
- While some teams are shuffling around their front office, one team that probably won't have to worry about that for a while is the the Pittsburgh Pirates and that's because they already have an excellent GM in Neal Huntington.
- Chase Utley became the latest "one-team guy" to drop that tag after the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers. Now, the question is an obvious one: Who is the longest-tenured "lifer" for each team in baseball?