Astros win Game 1 in historic fashion! Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.
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The Astros started in a hole in Game 1 of the ALDS with Justin Verlander giving up one run in the first inning. Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh drove in a run to right field, before Verlander was able to get out of the jam.
The Astros only saw 6 pitches in the bottom of the first and JV was quickly back on the field.
Verlander took the mound in the top of the 2nd with the Astros down 1-0. That wouldn't last long as JV would give up three more runs before getting bailed out with a double play ball to end the inning. (A nice play by Jeremy Pena and Jose Altuve)
Mariners 4, Astros 0.
The Astros got the offense going against Mariners starter Logan Gilbert in the bottom of the third. Chas McCormick started the inning with a base hit. Martin Maldonado then struck out with Jose Altuve coming to the plate. Altuve worked a walk, Jeremy Pena hit a ball deep to center, allowing McCormick to tag up and move to third.
Next up, Yordan Alvarez got a curveball and drove it off the wall in left field, recording a double and driving in McCormick and Altuve. Kyle Tucker stuck out on a breaking ball to end the inning. Mariners 4, Astros 2 heading to the fourth.
It looked like Verlander was starting to get comfortable after striking out the first two batters of the fourth inning. That wouldn't last long as JV gave up a monster home run to J.P. Crawford, then a triple to Julio Rodriguez and a double to Ty France putting the Mariners up 6-2. JV would give up a hit to Eugenio Suarez, but Alvarez threw France out at the plate heading to the bottom of the fourth, Mariners 6, Astros 2.
Yuli Gurriel quickly responded in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a home run to left field. Mancini, McCormick, and Maldonado would go down in order after that. Mariners 6, Astros 3.
After two scoreless innings, the Mariners got on the board again with a solo home run by Eugenio Suarez off of Cristian Javier, making the score 7-3 in the top of the seventh.
The Astros got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth after a single off the wall from Yordan Alvarez and an absolute bomb of a homer to left center from Alex Bregman. Mariners flame-throwing reliever Andres Munoz threw Bregman four straight sliders, and clearly it was one too many. Next up, an angry Munoz struck out Kyle Tucker on a 102 MPH fastball. With two outs, Yuli Gurriel collected his third hit of the game, bringing Trey Mancini to the plate with two outs. Mancini stuck out on a slider sending the game to the ninth inning. Mariners 7, Astros 5.
The Astros got a quick clean inning from Rafael Montero and headed to the ninth down two. Christian Vazquez led off the inning with a ground out. David Hensley was then hit by a pitch brining up Altuve who would strike out. With the Astros down to their final out, Jeremy Pena ripped a single to center and the Mariners put in former Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to pitch to Yordan Alvarez.
And Yordan did what Yordan does, he hit a 3-run bomb to win the game.
Final: Astros 8, Mariners 7.
Next up: Game 2 of the ALDS gets started Thursday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
One of the big factors that led to the Texans' loss to the Jaguars on Sunday was the secondary. Multiple flags for pass interference gave Jacksonville more opportunities to pick up first downs and score points.
Can confirm #Texans backup CB Shaq Griffin was cut.
Griffin started 6 games this year when Derek Stingley was out with a hamstring.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 29, 2023
So it's no surprise that DeMeco Ryans is making some changes to his defense this week. According to several reports, Texans corner Shaq Griffin has been cut.
Nickel corner Tavierre Thomas was flagged for PI more than once on Sunday, and was burned badly by Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown.
DeMeco was asked after the game if he considered replacing Thomas with Desmond King or Shaq Griffin. Ryans didn't give a definitive answer, but it looks like we got one today.
One has to wonder if Desmond Kings' experience playing nickel was the reason for his promotion to the active roster and why Griffin was released. If Thomas continues to struggle, King looks like the next man up to replace him.
#Texans activate Denzel Perryman, promote Desmond King to active roster, release Shaq Griffin, sign Matt Ammendola and Garret Wallow to practice squad, released Gerrid Doaks from practice squad and placed Tytus Howard (knee-patellar tendon surgery pending) on injured reserve https://t.co/knyyoqo7yC
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 29, 2023
The Texans also made some other adjustments to their roster on Wednesday, per Aaron Wilson. Linebacker Denzel Perryman returns from suspension, kicker Matt Ammendola and linebacker Garret Wallow join the practice squad. They also released Gerrid Doaks from the practice squad.
The other big piece of news involves left guard Tytus Howard. He heads to injured reserve, ending his season after hurting his knee against Jacksonville.