Astros set franchise record with 104th win of the year

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 3-0 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After an absolute gem by Gerrit Cole the night before lifting the Astros to a franchise record-tying 103rd win, Houston was back in Seattle on Wednesday night to wrap up the season series with the Mariners and continue their quest to lock up the best record in the league. Here is a quick rundown of the game:

Final Score: Astros 3, Mariners 0.

Record: 104-54, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (18-5, 2.93 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-11, 5.46 ERA).

1) Greinke nearly completes first career no-hitter

Zack Greinke had a tough road in front of him in terms of trying to follow Gerrit Cole's great night in the game on Tuesday. He stood up to the challenge, retiring every batter he faced until he allowed a walk in the bottom of the sixth, which turned into an inning-ending double play.

That would go down as the only baserunner for Seattle through the first eight innings, as Greinke would take a no-hitter into the ninth inning. He would allow a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth, followed by another to prompt A.J. Hinch out of the dugout to go to his bullpen and bring in Will Harris to get the last two outs. Greinke's final line: 8.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0 HR.

2) Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez get Houston on the board, Tucker homers late

Houston wasted no time getting some runs on the board, getting a leadoff single by George Springer who would score from first on an RBI-double by Alex Bregman. Bregman would score on an RBI-double by Yordan Alvarez in the next at-bat, creating an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

Alex Bregman would finish with another efficient night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with the RBI. Those two would end up being the only runs scored until the ninth inning, when Kyle Tucker would hit a leadoff solo homer to extend the lead to 3-0.

Up Next: Houston will begin their final series of the regular season, a four-game set in Los Angeles against the Angels, with the opening game Thursday at 9:07 PM. Wade Miley (14-6, 3.91 ERA) will get another chance to show that he hasn't completely fallen off the wagon for the Astros, while the Angels are expected to start Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Astros rough offseason continues

Cole's deal with Yankees changes the AL landscape

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In what came as a surprise to no one, former Astro Gerrit Cole is now a New York Yankee. Cole signed a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees.

While the Astros were never in the running to re-sign Cole, his signing with New York comes as a double whammy. The Yankees were only four wins behind the Astros during the regular season and pushed them to six games in the ALCS. Poaching Cole, who was 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts, easily flip flops the two teams. The Astros have no one to replace Cole's production, no matter what they do. The Yankees just added a legitimate ace, and stamped themselves as the new favorites in the AL.

For the Astros, it was an expected blow, and just the latest in what has been a rough off-season filled with scandal and now rumors that Carlos Correa may be on the block.

What's next for Astros?

Part of the price of success is your players have to get paid. Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are locked down, but Correa and George Springer are due for big deals, and the Astros have expressed a desire to keep the payroll under control. That is not good news for the 2020 Astros and beyond.

The Astros have an easy solution for Correa; moving Alex Bregman to short and Yuli Gurriel to third, and look for a cheaper option at first base. Correa's injury history has limited his production, so that's a loss they could stomach.

The losses mount

But there is no ready solution for Cole. Lance McCullers is expected back, and Jose Urquidy will get likely get a chance. They will also look for a bargain basement, Wade Miley type. But in general, the Astros - with or without Correa - will not be as good next season. While they will still be title contenders and there is plenty of time to fill some holes (they did, after all, trade for Cole two seasons ago), they won't be the favorites in the AL.

That honor now belongs to the Yankees.

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