HOUSTON -- The last 10 years of Astros baseball have been about as paradoxical as you could imagine. The Astros started rebuilding early in the 2010s, losing 100 games in three consecutive seasons (2011-13), and turned into a juggernaut later in the decade, winning 100 games in three straight seasons
HOUSTON -- The last 10 years of Astros baseball have been about as paradoxical as you could imagine. The Astros started rebuilding early in the 2010s, losing 100 games in three consecutive seasons (2011-13), and turned into a juggernaut later in the decade, winning 100 games in three straight seasons (2017-19).
So, it should come as no surprise that many of the team’s most memorable games of the past 10 years are recent, including a chunk of them in the playoffs and the team’s run to the World Series title in 2017 and American League pennant in ’19.
Here are the Astros’ Top 10 games of the decade:
1. Game 5 of 2017 World Series vs. Dodgers
Date: Oct. 29, 2017
Alex Bregman hit a walk-off single into left field off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the 10th inning to score pinch-runner Derek Fisher from second base and put an end to the second-longest World Series game in history, sending the Astros to a dramatic 13-12 victory. After the Astros wiped out deficits of 4-0, 7-4 and 8-7 with game-tying home runs, Los Angeles turned the tables on Houston by coming back from a 12-9 deficit in the ninth inning. Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer off Astros reliever Chris Devenski, who was one strike away from ending the game when Chris Taylor shot an RBI single to center to tie it at 12.
2. Game 7 of 2017 World Series vs. Dodgers
Date: Nov. 1, 2017
Jumping out to an early five-run lead in the first Fall Classic Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history, the Astros held off L.A. for their first World Series title, winning 5-1. Series MVP George Springer doubled and scored in the first and hit his record-tying fifth homer an inning later to chase Yu Darvish. The Dodgers stranded 10 runners, managing their lone run off Charlie Morton, who capped the Astros’ win with four innings of relief.
3. Game 2 of 2017 World Series vs. Dodgers
Date: Oct. 25, 2017
The Astros, three outs from a daunting deficit in the Fall Classic, rallied against Los Angeles' vaunted bullpen and shocked a Dodger Stadium crowd with a 7-6, 11-inning victory to even the Series at one game apiece. George Springer hit a decisive two-run homer in the 11th inning, which followed back-to-back homers from José Altuve and Carlos Correa in the 10th and a dramatic game-tying homer by Marwin Gonzalez leading off the ninth inning off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
4. Game 6 of 2019 ALCS vs. Yankees
Date: Oct. 19, 2019
After Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu hit a stunning two-run homer in the ninth inning to tie the game, José Altuve crushed an Aroldis Chapman slider and hit a towering walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to score George Springer for a 6-4 win over the Yankees. The Astros won the best-of-seven series, 4-2, to punch their ticket to the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
5. Keuchel sends Astros to Wild Card Game win
Date: Oct. 6, 2015
Dallas Keuchel struck out seven and allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, and the Astros’ bullpen retired nine of 10 Yankees hitters to send the Astros to their first postseason win in a decade -- and first as a member of the AL. The Astros got homers from Colby Rasmus in the second inning and Carlos Gómez in the fourth, as Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka struggled to find command of his pitches.
6. Verlander no-hitter vs. Blue Jays
Date: Sept. 1, 2019
Justin Verlander threw his third career no-hitter in beating the Blue Jays, 2-0, in Toronto and joining Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Larry Corcoran and Cy Young as the sixth pitcher to throw three or more in their careers. Verlander walked Cavan Biggio -- the second batter of the game -- and retired the final 26 batters he faced. The game was scoreless in the ninth before Abraham Toro -- a native of Canada -- hit a two-run homer, setting the stage for Verlander to finish off the no-no.
7. Cole strikes out 15 in Game 2 of 2019 ALDS
Date: Oct. 5, 2019
Gerrit Cole baffled the Rays for 7 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out an Astros franchise playoff record 15 batters -- the most in a postseason game since 2000 -- while allowing one walk and four hits to lead the Astros to a 3-1 victory in Game 2 of the AL Division Series at Minute Maid Park. Cole became the seventh pitcher in history to strike out as many as 15 in a playoff game, and the first since Roger Clemens in Game 4 of the 2000 AL Championship Series, en route to winning his 17th consecutive decision.
8. Cole dominates in Arizona
Date: May 4, 2018
Gerrit Cole struck out a career-high 16 batters while giving up only a fifth-inning double for his first career shutout and first career one-hitter, an 8-0 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field. That gave him 77 strikeouts in his first seven starts with the Astros, a Major League record for a pitcher in his first seven starts with a new team.
9. Astros beat Rangers in first game in AL
Date: March 31, 2013
Playing in their first game in the American League, the Astros made an impressive debut by trouncing the Rangers, 8-2, at Minute Maid Park. Rick Ankiel launched a pinch-hit three-run shot in the sixth inning, Bud Norris pitched well for the win and Erik Bedard threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings for his first career save. Having switched from the National League to the AL in the offseason, the Astros earned their first Opening Day victory since 2006 and the 4,000th regular-season win in franchise history.
10. Fiers throws no-hitter
Date: Aug. 21, 2015
Mike Fiers, making his third start since coming to the Astros, needed 134 pitches to throw the 11th no-hitter in Astros history and the first in the history of Minute Maid Park in a 3-0 win over the Dodgers. It was the first no-hitter thrown by the Astros since six pitchers combined to no-hit the Yankees on June 11, 2003, at Yankee Stadium. Fiers was the first Astros pitcher to complete a no-hitter since the late Darryl Kile beat the Mets on Sept. 8, 1993, in the Astrodome.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.