Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
With Toronto taking the middle game on Saturday, Houston looked to get back in the win column and take the series win with a victory on Sunday. Here is a recap of the series finale against the Blue Jays which started the final month of the regular season:
Final Score: Astros 2, Blue Jays 0.
Record: 89-49, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (17-5, 2.56 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Ken Giles (2-3, 2.05 ERA).
1) Verlander throws third career no-hitter
While the Blue Jays pieced together a quality bullpen day which kept the Astros' offense in check, it was Justin Verlander shutting down Toronto on the other side. Verlander was effective and efficient, working his way to another double-digit strikeout start after seven innings while throwing 93 pitches.
He added three more in the bottom of the eighth, striking out the side in order, keeping the Blue Jays without a hit and sending the scoreless game to the ninth. After his offense scored two runs in the top of the ninth, Verlander returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to finish things off.
He would do so, recording another 1-2-3 inning and completing his third career no-hitter. Verlander's final line: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 K, 0 HR.
2) Toro comes through in the ninth
Meanwhile, Houston's offense was not able to string together enough offense to score any runs through the first eight innings. With their pitcher at thirteen strikeouts and no hits through eight, Houston was desperate to back Verlander up with a run to try and complete a historic day.
Alex Bregman led the top of the ninth off with a double and would move to second on a one-out fly out, then scored on a two-run home run by Abraham Toro off of former-Astros Ken Giles to score the first two runs of the game and finally give Verlander some run support. Those two runs were the difference, lifting Houston over Toronto to take the series win.
Just hold on we're going home 🇨🇦#TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/cBxfZMqJhN
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 1, 2019
Up Next: The Astros will take a short trip to Milwaukee for a quick two-game series starting Monday with a Labor Day matchup with the Brewers at 3:00 PM. The Astros will have Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.85 ERA) on the mound going against Adrian Houser (6-5, 3.52 ERA) for the Brewers.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.