The regular season is in the books

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 8-5 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With the best record in the league already locked up with the win on Saturday, the Astros went into the 162nd and final game of the 2019 regular season with a chance to get one last tune-up and add to some individual numbers and records. Here is a rundown of the final game before the postseason:

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 5.

Record: 107-55, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dillon Peters (4-4, 5.38 ERA).

1) Houston's main bats finish strong

In their last chance to add some hits and RBIs to their final regular-season stat lines, the Astros' bats took advantage. Right away in the top of the first, George Springer led off the game with a single, then scored on an RBI-double by Jose Altuve to put Houston ahead 1-0.

Springer would go on to go 4-for-4 on the day with two RBIs including a solo home run in the second. Aledmys Diaz also hit a solo home run that inning, then in the top of the third Yuli Gurriel launched a two-run blast to extend the lead to 5-0. In the fourth, they added three more including Springer's other RBI, a double, along with an RBI-double for Michael Brantley and RBI-single for Alex Bregman. Bregman would go 1-for-1 with that RBI and two walks.

2) Cole gets his 20th win and ninth-straight 10+ strikeout start

Gerrit Cole once again had to take the mound the day after Justin Verlander set some historical marks and reached incredible milestones. Cole didn't shy away from getting his own, though, tossing a great game himself.

He allowed one run, a solo home run in the bottom of the third which made it a 5-1 game at the time. He also faced trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with one out after a single, hit batter, and walk, but would fight back with two strikeouts to end the inning. He would come out for one more inning, seeking two more Ks to reach ten on the day.

He would do so, striking out the last batter he would face in the 2019 regular season to reach ten on the day, doing so for the ninth-straight start, a feat no other pitcher has ever done. The five innings of one-run baseball also lowered his ERA to 2.50, further making it a difficult decision to vote between him and Justin Verlander for the Cy Young. Cole's final line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston finishes with a win

That set up four innings for the bullpen to cover, starting with Brad Peacock in the bottom of the sixth. Peacock wouldn't have the cleanest inning, getting just two outs while allowing a two-run home run to cut the lead to 8-3. Bryan Abreu would get the final out of the sixth then return for the seventh, a 1-2-3 inning to hold the five-run lead.

Joe Smith took over for the bottom of the eighth but allowed two RBI-doubles to cut Houston's lead down to 8-5 before Chris Devenski would be brought in for the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Devenski remained in the game and recorded the first two outs before the final pitching change to bring in Will Harris who would get the final out of game 162.

Up Next: The regular season is now behind the Astros. In front of them, eleven wins needed to lift the Commissioner's Trophy for the second time in three years. Their first playoff game will be ALDS Game 1 on Friday, time TBD but likely in the afternoon, and opponent not yet determined as the winner of the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A's in Wednesday's Wild Card game will travel to Houston to face the Astros in Game 1.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In what was expected to be a fierce pitcher's duel, Game 1 of the 2019 World Series saw some big offensive moments in the early innings as the Nationals erased an early 2-0 deficit with five unanswered runs to take a 5-2 lead against Gerrit Cole. They would hold on to that lead and take Game 1 against the Astros, 5-4. Washington's star of the night was Juan Soto, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including a solo home run to fuel the Nationals to a 1-0 series lead. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Nationals 5, Astros 4.

Series: Nationals lead 1-0.

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer.

Losing Pitcher: Gerrit Cole.

Astros take an early lead

Although the Nationals would record the first hit of the night on a leadoff single in the top of the inning, it would be the Astros who would get the first runs of the night in the bottom of the first inning. George Springer worked a leadoff walk to start the frame, followed by Jose Altuve, who drilled a single to put two on base. Both would advance a base after a wild pitch to move Springer to third, followed by a steal by Altuve, then Yuli Gurriel drove them in on a two-RBI double off the left-center field wall to give Houston the quick 2-0 lead.

The Nationals immediately cut the lead in half in the top of the second, getting a solo home run by Ryan Zimmerman off of Gerrit Cole to straightaway center-field to make it a 2-1 game. The Astros threatened to extend their lead in the bottom of the third after getting runners on second and third with two outs on a bloop single that fell in by Gurriel, but a strikeout by Carlos Correa would end the inning.

Nationals roar back with five unanswered runs

The Nationals were able to fully erase the 2-0 deficit in the top of the fourth. It came on the second solo home run allowed by Gerrit Cole on the night, this one a leadoff homer to Juan Soto to tie the game. Yordan Alvarez recorded a much-needed hit considering his playoff slump to lead off the bottom of the fourth and should have moved to second after a missed catcher's interference against Josh Reddick instead resulted in Reddick recording the second out of the inning.

George Springer worked a walk next as Houston continued to work Max Scherzer into lengthy at-bats, but both runners would be left stranded as Scherzer got out of another jam. Cole encountered jam of his own in the top of the fifth, issuing his first walk to start the inning followed by a single to put two runners on. After getting an out, Cole would allow an RBI-single as Washington took their first lead at 3-2. With two outs in the inning, Juan Soto would strike again, this time a two-RBI double to extend the Nationals' lead to 5-2 before the inning was over.

Washington goes to their bullpen in the sixth while Cole finishes seven

After a scoreless top of the sixth by Cole, the Nationals moved to another pitcher, bringing in Patrick Corbin to try and hold on to Washington's lead. Corbin was as a potential Game 3 starter, but with the Nationals bullpen having notable struggles, they opted instead to go to his strong arm to try and hold on to get a Game 1 road win, potentially keeping him available for a Game 4 start. He would record a scoreless frame, erasing a one-out single by Yordan Alvarez to keep it a 5-2 deficit for Houston heading to the seventh.

Gerrit Cole would throw one more inning before he was done for the night, getting a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. His final line was not what many expected would it would be, recording his worst start of the postseason: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR.

Nationals hold on for Game 1 win

Tanner Rainey was the next reliever for the Nationals, but George Springer welcomed him with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh to trim the lead to 5-3. Rainey would then allow back-to-back one-out walks, prompting the move to another reliever for Washington. It would be Daniel Hudson who would come in and get the second out before an infield single loaded the bases for Yordan Alvarez, who would strikeout to end the threat.

First out of Houston's bullpen was Will Harris in the top of the eighth, and he would erase a one-out single by Soto to keep it a two-run game. Kyle Tucker led off the bottom of the eighth with a pinch-hit single against Hudson, who remained in the game for Washington. Tucker would move to second by tagging on a long flyout, then score on an RBI-double by Springer that was mere feet from being a game-tying home run, but instead left the tying run on second base with one out and the score now 5-4. After a flyout by Altuve, the Nationals moved to Sean Doolittle to face Michael Brantley, and Doolittle would win that battle to keep it a one-run game.

Joe Smith would come in for the top of the ninth to try and keep it a one-run game and give Houston a chance to tie or walk it off in the bottom half of the inning. Smith did his job, keeping the Nationals off the board. Doolittle would face the middle of Houston's order in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Astros in order to finish off Houston's Game 1 loss.

Up Next: Game 2 of the 2019 World Series will start at 7:07 PM Central on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park in Houston. It offers another terrific pitching matchup on paper with Justin Verlander for the Astros going up against Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

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