There are a number of reasons why Roy Oswalt and the Astros were huge last night.
Every team in LCS play who went on the road for the final two games of the series and lost game 6 has also lost game 7. The last team in any round to do that was the '75 Reds who won game 7 of the World Series at Fenway after losing game 6 on the Carlton Fisk homer.
Roger Clemens, by many accounts keeps getting better every year, but his past performances in deciding games haven't exactly been lights out. A game 7 at St. Louis would have been a tough tough way to make the World Series.
So, lets thank Roy Oswalt and that defense behind him for takin' care of business, and he now has a chance to break Pedro Martinez's record for most hit batters in a single postseason. (Pedro had 4 last year, Oswalt has 3 so far.)
The last 5 NL Pennant winners have been the team that hit the most batters in the first two playoff rounds:
(NL Champ in bold)
2005 - Astros 7, Cards 4, Braves 1, Padres 1
2004 - Cards 6, Astros 4, Dodgers 3, Braves 1
2003 - Marlins 4, Cubs 3, Giants 2, Braves 0
2002 - Giants 3, Cards, 3, D-Backs 2, Braves 1
2001 - D-backs 1, Braves 1, Cards 1, Astros 1
2000 - Cards 4, Giants 3, Braves 2, Mets 1
And congratulations to Ernie Banks for winning back third place on the all time list for games played by someone who never made the World Series. With Biggio in the series and Rafeal Palmeiro likely retiring with the all time record, Julio Franco looks like he'll be the active leader in this category starting next season. Let us never speak of it again.