For Pete's Sake

Astros’ bullpen collapse had fans sadly recalling Royals’ comeback in 2015 playoffs

Jose Altuve (right) and the rest of the Houston Astros watched from the dugout during the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
Jose Altuve (right) and the rest of the Houston Astros watched from the dugout during the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday. The Associated Press

Hey Royals fans, does this sound familiar?

The Astros held a 2-1 series lead against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series and had a four-run lead in Game 4 on Tuesday after a solid start by Lance McCullers. However, Houston’s bullpen imploded and the Yankees rallied for a 6-4 victory.

If you think that sounds like Game 4 of the 2015 American League Division Series against the Royals, you are not alone. McCullers also started that day and the Royals were down by four runs late before rallying for a 9-6 win.

The only thing missing this time was the ill-advised celebratory tweet from the Texas governor, but that was because Houston couldn’t have closed out the series on Tuesday.

Royals players including Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Ben Zobrist, Edinson Volquez and more describe how Moustakas led the charge in the dugout before the Royals scored five runs in the eighth inning and beat the Astros 9-6 on Monday

Billy Witz of the New York Times wrote: “If Tuesday’s loss proves to be the Astros’ undoing in this series, it will be another Game 4 eighth-inning boogeyman they must confront. With a chance to close out a division series two years ago at home against the Kansas City Royals, the Astros unraveled, blowing a four-run lead in the eighth inning before eventually losing, 9-6. The Royals won Game 5 two days later and went on to win the World Series.

“The similarities on Tuesday were hard to miss.”

Astros fans certainly noticed.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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