Gerrit Cole sets more records as Astros win again

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 3-0 win

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.

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.

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.

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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