Astros take a 1-0 lead.

Free agent to-be Carlos Correa puts the Astros ahead with a solo home run in the seventh.

There’s no denying it. Playoff baseball is fun. Watching good teams with the ability to do what’s needed is satisfying as a fan.

It’s hard to root for either the Red Sox or the Astros but in this case you’re rooting for baseball. For well-played games and timely offense and coming through in the clutch.

Last night’s game was that. Boston got ten hits, Houston eleven. Houston took a 1-0 lead. Then Boston went ahead 3-1. Houston squandered some scoring chances but finally tied it in the sixth at 3-3. A Carlos Correa home run in the seventh put them ahead. They played small ball to get an insurance run in the eighth. The Red Sox scored one in the ninth but it wasn’t enough.

It was a good game.

After cheating their way to a World Series championship in 2017, the Astros are trying to win it all legitimately this time. Game 1 of the A.L. Championship Series goes to Houston 5-4.

Winning won’t wash off the stain of shame. But there’s no denying this is a good team that has has sustained success, and there’s no reason to think that success won’t continue. Young players like Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez prove they have a fertile farm system that generates real talent.

And that is what keeps a franchise on top.

It’s wonderful to watch good baseball but as a Rangers fan it’s also frustrating to realize just how far from good this franchise is and how far it has to go to get there. Yes, two World Series appearances in a row were wonderful. But that glory was like a bottle rocket.

Bright but quick to burn out.

For the foreseeable future, Rangers fans are going to have to watch other teams if they want to see good baseball. It’s out there. Just not in Arlington.