OAKLAND, Calif. — On July 26, 2021, Dylan Moore delivered a moment that forced action. His grand slam against Brooks Raley completed a six-run comeback by the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park and laid bare what many already knew: The Astros had a bad bullpen. General manager James Click acquired Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero the next afternoon. Two other additions followed. Houston’s biggest weakness became one of its October strengths.
A year and a day later, Houston finished the sort of series that heightens urgency. No watershed moment like Moore’s occurred during three dreadful days in Oakland, but perhaps it would have been better that way. Instead, Click and his lieutenants sat through 27 infuriating, endless innings against a team built to lose.