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"The day the Astros played 18"

Yesterday's 7-6 victory over the Braves was an epic. It was not the greatest post-season game ever, but it was certainly one for the ages. Two grand slams. An unlikely comeback from 6-1 down. A game-tying homer with two out in the ninth. Then a pitchers' duel in extra innings, capped by three knockout innings from Roger Clemens. Jayson Stark's account is the best I've read, covering myriad incidents while putting the game in historical perspective.

The boys at Page 2 rank the game among other post-season classics in an informative debate. Like them, I place it a notch or two below the Astros' sixteen-inning loss to the Mets in 1986. While it doesn't fully offset the '86 loss (the Astros were three outs and Mike Scott from the World Series, then were brutally, tortuously eliminated), it gives the Astros another chance to dance. At this stage of the season, that's all a fan can ask for. Whew!