Houston clinches a playoff berth with win number 100

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 3-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a win on Tuesday night against Texas, Houston looked to wrap up the season series with the Rangers with a win on Wednesday night to get victory number 100 on the year and also secure a playoff berth. Here are some quick hits about the game:

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 2.

Record: 100-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (18-5, 2.61 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Kolby Allard (4-1, 4.25 ERA).

1) After stranding runners early, Gurriel starts the scoring

Houston had several chances to jump in front of Texas early and build up a substantial lead. They loaded the bases with two outs in both the second and third innings, but both times would strand all three runners, finishing the first three innings with a total of seven left on base.

Yordan Alvarez became another two-out baserunner in the bottom of the fifth after a single, bringing up Yuli Gurriel. Gurriel continued his hot streak this summer, finally giving the Astros runs on the board with a two-run home run to go up 2-0.

2) Cole reaches strikeout 300 in his 19th start of 2019 with ten or more Ks

Gerrit Cole benefited from those two runs, as he was working on the mound in the top half of each inning to hold the Rangers down. He allowed just two hits through the first six innings, putting an exclamation point to that part of the game by finishing the sixth inning with his 300th strikeout of the season, becoming just the third in franchise history to do so.

With a low pitch count, he was able to return for the seventh inning but would allow his first run of the night after back-to-back one-out singles put a runner on third who scored on a bad throw by Martin Maldonado trying to catch a runner stealing second. Not only did Cole finish that inning with a one-run lead still intact, but he would also go back to the mound in the eighth to extend his streak of double-digit strikeouts.

After Jose Altuve added a run with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, Cole, despite allowing a solo home run himself, would get his tenth strikeout of the night. That made it 19 of his 31 starts this season to record at least ten strikeouts as he would go on to finish the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead. His final line in a night full of records and milestones: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

3) Osuna gets the save as Houston is first to 100 wins and clinches a playoff spot

Roberto Osuna took over for Gerrit Cole in the top of the ninth with the one-run lead. He was able to get another save with a scoreless inning, wrapping up the 3-2 win. The win was number 100 on the season, the first team in the MLB to do so this year, and it also clinched the Astros a spot in the postseason.

Up Next: The Astros will get another welcome day off at home tomorrow before hosting their final regular-season series at home this weekend against the Angels. The opener of the three-game set will be Friday at 7:10 PM and the expected pitching matchup is Jaime Barria (4-9, 5.95 ERA) for Los Angeles and Zack Greinke (16-5, 2.95 ERA) for Houston.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Alvarez is the third in franchise history to get the award

Astros' Yordan Alvarez wins AL Rookie of the Year

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

As expected, the MLB announced on Monday that the winner of the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year Award is Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros. It comes as no surprise, considering Alvarez's performance since being called up on June 9th of this season was powerful, to say the least. He beats out the two other finalists: John Means of the Baltimore Orioles and Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays.

After dominating at the AAA level for the Round Rock Express where he led the minors in home runs (23) and RBIs (71) while hitting for a .343 average and 1.184 OPS over his 56 games before being promoted to the major leagues, he brought the same power to Houston's lineup. He wasted no time showing what he was capable of, notching his first career home run in his second at-bat at Minute Maid Park in his debut game.

He followed that by hitting home runs in four of his first five games and going on to slash .317 / .406 / .733 for a 1.139 OPS from his debut through the end of June, tenth best in all of the majors over that span. Though he finished the month with seven homers in just 60 at-bats, he also maintained his ability to drive in runs, notching 21 RBIs in his first sixteen games. He slowed down slightly in July, banging just five homers in 75 ABs to go along with 15 RBIs, though increasing his average to .333.

He picked the power back up in August and September, though, finishing the final two months of the regular season with a combined 15 home runs and 42 RBIs over 178 at-bats. That ended his regular season with 27 homers, 78 RBIs, a 1.067 OPS, and .313 average, a line that would have been decent for a full season, much less one that started in early June. One of the shining moments of his debut year came in the matchup with the Orioles on August 10th, a night when the Astros put up a franchise-record 23 runs, seven of which came off the bat of Alvarez on a three-homer night including a grand slam.

Although not factored into the voting, Alvarez did contribute in the postseason for Houston, though not at the same level as his regular-season numbers. He had just one home run in the playoffs, a two-run blast in World Series Game 5 against the Nationals in D.C. to help Houston take that game 7-1. He had just one other RBI in October, in ALDS Game 1 against the Rays, giving him just three total along with the one homer to leave his postseason stat line as something to improve on.

Nonetheless, Alvarez's power is something that Houston will gladly put in their DH spot as long as he can continue to drive in runs and be a difference-maker in a game with one swing of his hefty bat. Yordan is the third player in franchise history to win the Rookie of the Year award, joining Jeff Bagwell, who took home the honor for the National League in 1991 and Carlos Correa, who also won in the American League in 2015. The future is bright for this left-handed slugger and the Houston Astros as a result.

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