Dusty Baker has his Astros one win away from clinching their third consecutive spot in the World Series after taking a 3-2 series lead over Marcus Semien’s Texas Rangers in firework-filled Game 5 that saw him ejected after the teams cleared the benches.  

Tensions between these interstate rivals go back as far as 2017, when the Astros began their reign of terror over the American League and the Rangers missed the playoffs to start a string of six consecutive years before this season.

Dusty gets tossed

In the 8th inning with a runner on first and the Rangers leading 4-2, Adolis Garcia was hit by a Bryan Abreu fastball on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Both teams emptied the benches and even though no punches were thrown three people were ejected from the game: Garcia, Abreu and Astros manager Dusty Baker.

“It did not make any sense to me,” Baker told reporters when they asked him if he thought there was any intent with the hit-by-pitch.

“They explained to me the guy just hit a three-run homer, but that was a mistake that he hit that homer on.  His ball was down and in and we were not trying to go down and in.  We pitch him up and anytime you are throwing a projectile 97mph some are going to get away.  I do not care if you are a Big League, Hall of Fame, I do not care who you are.”

Jon Singleton passes the baton:

After the dust settled, there was still baseball to be played in the top half of the 9th and for first baseman Jon Singleton, his first career playoff at-bat turned out to be the difference maker.

Welcome Back To The Show Jon Singleton | Houston Astros Make Another Brilliant MLBbro Maneuver

His ability to work a walk allowed the tying run to reach first base, putting immense pressure on the Rangers pitching staff which led to a go-ahead three-run homer by Jose Altuve, who Dusty praised highly earlier in the week.

“Hard work and discipline helps me stay ready so I do not have to get ready,” Singleton told reporters after the game.

“This is a special team and that is all I can ask for, going out and helping them get a W.”

‘Game Six Semi” must become a reality:

This has been anything but a dream playoff run for second baseman Marcus Semien who was coming off another Hall of Fame caliber season. 

In Game Five he took home an 0-for-5 game that saw him leave four runners on base, including flying out with runners on first and third with no outs and lining out to shortstop in the 9th inning with two on and no outs.

He also made an error when trying to get the ball out of his glove on a double play, but made up for it with a diving stop with the bases loaded to keep his Rangers in the game early.

Despite making the out, we saw signs of life from Semien at the plate in his last at-bat.  

He has been getting pitches to hit, but has not been able to do any damage through the first five games as his batting average sits at a disappointing .159 this postseason.

However Semien can still write a proper ending to his story if he delivers big over the weekend.

He has seen success off of projected starter Framber Valez before including in Game Two of the series where he had two hits.

Texas could move him down to the two spot in order to change some of his mojo, but no matter where he is in the lineup, the Rangers will go as Semien and his half a billion dollar middle infield partner Corey Seager can take them

Share This