HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Twelve years ago, the Astros made it to their first World Series, but it wasn't easy.
The team started out 15-30 with only two wins on the road through May 24th.
The 2005 season was also one that would be dedicated to the team's long-time leader and face, Jeff Bagwell. One of the "Killer B's" was heading for retirement after a career that boasted an MVP award, a Rookie of the Year honor and four All-Star games. The one thing missing was a World Series.
The Astros did enough to seal their second straight playoff berth as a wild-card team, going 74-43 after the sub-par start.
Still, the Astros, without home-field advantage at any point of the playoffs, were presented with an uphill climb.
Instead, the postseason proved big for the 'Stros, who won Game 1 of their series in Atlanta before defending home field. The Game 4 clincher was one for the history books.
In Game 4, the Astros faced a 4-0 hole early on thanks to a forgettable fourth inning that included an Adam LaRoche grand slam. With the score at 6-1 entering the eighth, Lance Berkman answered with a grand slam of his own. And, being down 6-5 in the ninth, the Astros mustered a game-tying home run from Brad Ausmus, who was at the plate down to two outs.
A full nine innings after the game-tying blast, the Astros gave the Houston faithful an NLCS berth thanks to an heroic relief stint from Roger Clemens and a walk-off homer from Chris Burke.
The NLCS pitted Houston and St. Louis for a second straight postseason. After dropping Game 1 in 2005, the Astros won the next three games, including Game 2 at Busch Stadium, before losing Game 5 in what would have been a surefire clincher. In that game, up 4-2 heading into the 9th, elite closer Brad Lidge gave up an unfathomable three-run home run to superstar slugger Albert Pujols.
The Astros appeared to have put the ghosts of the 2004 NLCS to bed when their second chance at eliminating the Cardinals paid off. In Game 6, the Astros made opposing pitcher Mark Mulder pay, scoring three runs off of him by the fourth inning. Houston's Roy Oswalt solidified the Astros' World Series berth, giving up only one run in seven innings.
The Astros' first World Series was short and bittersweet. The Chicago White Sox swept the Astros in four games.
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The 2005 "Killer B's", where are they now?