Rasmus takes pride in 25-homer mark
PHOENIX -- Not much gets to Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus. He never seems to feel pressure, never seems to be fazed. That's suited him rather well as the regular season comes to close.
Rasmus went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs -- giving him a career high 25 -- in a 6-2 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field that ensured the Astros will play beyond Sunday. Rasmus has three homers in the first two games of the series, and he's only starting because Carlos Gomez aggravated his left intercostal strain on Wednesday.
"Pumped about it," Rasmus said of his home run total. "It's always been something I wanted to be able to do. I feel proud to say that I hit 25. I battled my butt off this year and worked hard and tried to do the best I could for the team, and I think that's what helped me out."
Rasmus, hitting .240 with 61 RBIs entering Game 162, has a chance to pad those numbers on Sunday. He's one of five Astros with at least 20 homers.
"I just want to go home and hang out with my kids and come back tomorrow relaxed and play a baseball game and have fun," he said. "Just like I did today. I wasn't thinking about the stuff going on. I just wanted to come and play hard for my team."
The Astros enter Sunday one game behind the American League West-leading Rangers and one game ahead of the Angels in the race for the AL's last available Wild Card spot. They can still force a tiebreaker for the division title or clinch a spot in the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, but they cannot be eliminated on Sunday. The worst-case scenario would be a tiebreaker with the Angels on Monday for a Wild Card spot.
If the Rangers win on Sunday, they win the division, regardless of what the Astros do. But if the Astros win and the Rangers lose, they would then play a one-game tiebreaker to decide the AL West champ on Monday in Arlington, based on the Rangers winning the season series between the clubs (13-6). The loser of that game would face the Yankees in the AL Wild Card Game, with the venue depending on whether New York wins on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, they would be tied for the final Wild Card spot and play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday at Minute Maid Park, based on the Astros winning the season series between the teams (10-9). The winner of that game would travel to face the Yankees in the Wild Card Game.
The Astros are also only a game behind the Yankees. If Houston wins a Wild Card spot and finishes tied with New York, the AL Wild Card Game would be at Minute Maid Park, as the Astros won the season series, 4-3.
"The whole season has been wild for us, especially thinking we're not thinking we're going to be in this position," Rasmus said. "Coming into Spring Training everybody counting us out, pretty much saying we're going to be subpar. To have this grind of these last few games to be able to give us that chance, man it's pretty sweet. I'm thankful to be in the position."