The Houston Astros began the 2005 season with a list of problems that suggested it was going to be a long, and likely unsuccessful, season. Lance Berkman was out for a month following offseason knee surgery. Jeff Bagwell struggled through a painful first month before deciding it was time to go on the disabled list. Nearly one-third of the Houston Astros roster was hit with everything from the flu to pneumonia to upper respiratory infections that swept through the Houston Astros' clubhouse. But the Houston Astros recovered from their abysmal start to go 74-43 the rest of the year -- a .632 winning percentage over four months. Repeating their performance from 2004, the Houston Astros won the National League Wild Card on the final day of the regular season, but unlike 2004, the Houston Astros beat the Cardinals in the NLCS to advance to their first Fall Classic. Although they were swept by the White Sox in the World Series, the disappointing finish should not detract from what the Houston Astros accomplished last season. Picked by most to finish no higher than fourth in the division, this Astros club outlasted every other team in the National League, and advanced further than any club in franchise history.