Saturday's sellout was the team's sixth in 2003. (The club expects to draw around 2.5 million, about the same as last year, though down from 3 million when the ballpark opened in 2000.) The victory clinched the fourth straight series win for the Astros, who were 10-3 in those series, including a 4-1 contribution from Oswalt and Miller.
Maybe the stretch run will turn out to be another empty promise. Or maybe the happy noise rising from Crawford Street was, 41 years after baseball came to town, a new beginning. At the very least it was the sound of baseball that mattered, deep in the heart of Texas.