HOUSTON -- The raucous crowds that nearly filled Minute Maid Park for the final weekend series of the season against the Yankees for the final appearances by Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera has given Astros manager Bo Porter hope a baseball town still lives inside Houston.
The Astros routinely played before huge crowds in the 2000s when they made the playoffs with regularity, including a trip to the World Series in '05. Entering Sunday, the Astros were averaging 20,199 fans per game, including 37,199 on Saturday.
"I've lived here a long time," Porter said. "This here is a great baseball city with great fans. Yes, they have been patient, but at the same time as an organization we can all attest to the fact that our fans are starving for a winner and we need to give them one."
Saturday's crowd, which saw Pettitte pitch a complete game in his final start of his career, was the loudest of the season, with perhaps the exception of an Opening Day win over the Rangers.
"It lets you know when they come out in large numbers like that, this place can get loud," Porter said. "It can basically be to our advantage. At the same time, we as an organization have to make sure we're giving the fans a reason to come out and cheer and root the way they were cheering last night."