Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
With the division won on Sunday, the Astros took to the road for the final week of regular-season play. First up was a two-game set with the Mariners in Seattle. Here is a quick look at the game:
Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 0.
Record: 103-54, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (19-5, 2.52 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Tommy Milone (4-10, 4.76 ERA).
1) Alex Bregman's 40th home run starts the scoring
With both offenses struggling to string hits together through the first third of the game, the Astros and Mariners stayed gridlocked at 0-0 going to the fourth. Alex Bregman changed that with one swing, leading off the fourth inning with a solo home run, his 40th of the season to continue the improvement of his numbers to go after Mike Trout for the MVP award. Reaching number 40 also put him on a list with only three other Astros in franchise history to reach that mark in a single season.
4⃣0⃣@ABREG_1's making the final push for MVP. pic.twitter.com/RmzGDx0SKK
— MLB (@MLB) September 25, 2019
Houston added to their lead in the top of the seventh, getting a leadoff double by Kyle Tucker followed by an RBI-double by Aledmys Diaz. Diaz tagged to third on a fly out, then scored on an RBI by Josh Reddick to make it a 3-0 lead.
2) Cole breaks more records in seven shutout innings
Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole was having himself another dominant night on the mound resulting in more historical milestones achieved. Reaching double-digit strikeouts for the eighth straight start, he tied the all-time record joining just Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez as the only others to reach that mark.
The double-digit strikeout start was also his 20th of the season, joining Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, and Randy Johnson as just the fourth pitcher to do so. Additionally, with his twelfth strikeout of the night, he reached number 314 on the season, a new franchise record for a season. Cole would complete seven innings, allowing just two hits while racking up fourteen strikeouts. His final line on a historic night: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14K, 0 HR.
We're running out of records for @GerritCole45.
Cole's 314 Ks are the most by an AL pitcher in a season since Nolan Ryan in 1977. pic.twitter.com/pd3K5OaPl0
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 25, 2019
3) Wrapping up win number 103
With Cole's night over after seven innings, Houston turned the ball over to the bullpen for the last two. Ryan Pressly took the mound in the eighth and worked around a one-out walk and single to strike out the side. Roberto Osuna would wrap things up in the ninth with another save. That improved the Astros to 103-54, tying the franchise record for wins set in 2018.
Up Next: The season series finale between Houston and Seattle will be on Wednesday with another late start at 9:10 PM. Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros while the Mariners are expected to start Yusei Kikuchi (6-10, 5.55 ERA).
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.