Astro Launch: Houston on the Way to the World Series

It has taken 44 years, 44 winters of discontent and disappointment, but the Houston Astros are finally going to the World Series after a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in game six of the National League Championship Series last night in St. Louis. The Astros won their first National League pennant with a lot of clutch hitting, good base running, and with the arm of their 20-game winning pitcher Roy Oswalt.

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After coming within a strike of the World Series here in Houston, the Astros celebrated on the field in St. Louis after beating the team that sent them home in last year's playoffs. Oswalt pitched seven strong innings, striking out 6 on the way to his second win of the series. Second baseman Craig Biggio says it's hard to believe the Astros are on their way to the World Series. "I guess good things come to those who wait and I love my teammates and the city and the organizatoin and it's unbelievable even to say the World Series and that we're going right now," he says.

After a dismal 15-30 start to the season, the Astros came back to win the National League Wild Card and now the first two rounds of the playoffs. Manger Phil Garner says it's about time. "44 years of getting close and not getting to the big dance has been a little bit frustrating so this is a wonderful accomplishment for our city, for our organization, for everyone who has been involved in it," he says.

The Astros now get ready for game one of the World Series on Saturday in Chicago against the White Sox, who haven't been to the Fall Classic since 1959. The first World Series games ever in Texas will be next Tuesday and Wednesday, with game 5 here on Thursday if necessary.

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