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.

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Many fans weren't impressed with the Texans draft. Composite image by Jack Brame.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article titled "An honest discussion about our expectations for the Texans." In said article, I gave Texans general manager Nick Caserio props for "bringing in some decent talent." While by no means was I admitting Caserio was building a winner, but he brought in a ton of guys on one year deals who are going to be competing for their next contract. Meaning, they'll play hard, but the talent level and chemistry of opposing teams will ultimately win out as the Texans will have a losing season. I predicted they'll go somewhere between 7-10 and 4-13. A record in that range is good for a top 5-10 pick in the draft, which they desperately need in order to assist in the rebuild.

Last week, I wrote about the most likely scenarios for the Texans following the draft. Considering the moves Caserio made, I wasn't too pleased with the draft. They came into the draft with eight picks and drafted only five players after severely overpaying to trade up twice and only getting one of the guys they traded up for, so I felt as if this draft by Caserio left much to be desired. However, it may turn out for the best, but that largely depends on Davis Mills turning into a franchise quarterback and Nico Collins turning into a stud at receiver. Counting on third round picks to become big time stars in order to justify them being drafted over other guys who played positions of obvious need is a reach. Not saying it won't happen, but the likelihood isn't great.

I was optimistic about Caserio's hire initially. I had a short fuse of confidence in his abilities because I hoped he'd had learned enough in his twenty years in New England that he would be capable of doing a good enough job here. Not that I thought he'd be a superstar right away, but effective. The series of one year deals and cleaning up some cap issues made me think I was right. Re-signing David Johnson in light of bringing in Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay made me wonder if he was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. Then there was the draft. Taking a quarterback when you already have a contingency plan starter and traded for a backup was puzzling. Sure Mills has some traits and could be a steal, but your biggest needs were on defense. The nail in my confidence coffin was his comment "I'm not a draft expert" when asked what he thought about their draft. Whether he meant it as "I'm no Todd McShay", or as "I'm too dumb to know what I'm doing just yet", the perception is there that the latter is what's believed.

When you're in a situation and you don't really know what to do, but you fake it till you make it, would you tell people? Or, would you let your performance speak for itself? No matter what I thought, if I were him, I would have never uttered those words! Perception is everything in the court of public opinion. So far, Caserio has made me think much less of his abilities moving forward. The only things he can do to change my mind is win big on a Deshaun Watson trade and hit it big with not only this, but the next couple drafts as well. If he can build a playoff contender within in the next couple of years, I'll take it back. Until then, he's just another bum living off the Bill Belichick rub.

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