Scouting the Astros

Updated: October 5, 2004, 11:20 AM ET
By Buck Martinez | ESPN Insider

Division Series Breakdowns
American League
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Yankees
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Anaheim Angels
    National League
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Houston Astros
  • Atlanta Braves

    There is no other way to put this: The Houston Astros have the most momentum of any team heading into the postseason.

    It all begin when Phil Garner took over for Jimmy Williams as manager in July. It took Garner about a month before he had any effect, whatsoever, on the ballclub, but after that the players relaxed, they began having fun again and they allowed their abilities to take over.

    Of course, it didn't hurt that Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt caught fire in the second half and pitched great down the stretch, or that Brad Lidge became one of the most dominant closers in the game. That combination of Clemens, Oswalt and Lidge can lead them to the World Series.

    Buck Martinez re-joined ESPN in 2002, following a one-year stint as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, and currently serves as analyst on ESPN's Wednesday night national telecasts of Major League Baseball.