PHOENIX — Astros manager A.J. Hinch gathered his players around, took a puff from his victory cigar and told everyone to quiet down.
"You can say a lot of things about this team, but one thing they're going to say forever: We're a … playoff team," Hinch told them while standing in puddles of beer and champagne.
It's hard to blame Hinch and the Astros for letting loose. A 10-year wait is over.
Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks wasn't enough to spoil what they've done this season. Houston is headed to the AL wild-card game, its first playoff appearance since the 2005 World Series.
"We didn't have the results a couple of years ago that we wanted, but we worked hard to be at this point," said Houston's Jose Altuve, who reached 200 hits for the second time. "Now we are the team that everybody wants to be."