Houston Astros and Jason Castro All but Sink Milwaukee's Playoff Hopes

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer ISeptember 29, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the top fo the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 28, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The team that is leaving the National League for the American League broke the heart of the team that left the American League for the National League.

The Houston Astros, led by catcher Jason Castro's two home runs, all but destroyed the postseason hopes of last year's NL Central Division champion Milwaukee Brewers.

When the Brewers were on such a terrific run last week, no doubt they looked ahead on the schedule and expected the Astros to be an easy win.

But home runs by Castro, Brett Wallace and Jose Altuve gave Houston a lead it would hold onto.

The pitching matchup of Houston's Edgar Gonzalez versus Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo looked like a mismatch in the Brewers' favor.

Instead it was Gonzalez and the Houston bullpen who got the job done as Gallardo got shelled in six innings of work.

The Brewers had the tying run on base and the winning run at the plate in the form of Norichika Aoki. But he hit into a double play, ending the game and lowering the elimination number for the Brewers to one.

The Brewers had a recent run where they won eight of nine. But they would need to be perfect throughout the rest of the season and hope their nemesis from 1982 and 2011, the Cardinals, lose some games as well.

Meanwhile, the Astros were the ones getting the good hitting and timely pitching. One more outing like this and the Brewers will be gone from the playoff picture.

The Astros might not be going anywhere this year, but if any team circled the Astros on the schedule as an easy win, beware. The Astros can beat a team that is not exactly expecting a fight.