Astros lead the series, 2-0. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.
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The Astros and Mariners sent two stud pitchers to the mound for Game 2 of the ALDS. Many expected this to be a game where runs would be tough to come by with Framber Valdez (2.82 ERA) and Luis Castillo (2.99 ERA) on the mound.
The Astros were the first team to get on the board with Kyle Tucker crushing a slider to right field for a solo home run in the bottom of the second. Astros up 1-0 after two innings.
With two outs in the top of the third, J.P. Crawford ripped a double off the left field wall bringing up Cal Raleigh. Raleigh grounded up the middle and Jose Altuve made an incredible play throwing him out to end the inning. A great scoop by Yuli Gurriel should also be mentioned.
Framber Valdez got into some trouble in the top of the fourth inning, getting behind in the count repeatedly. With one out, Eugenio Suarez walked, Mitch Haniger doubled on a ground ball to left with Suarez getting to third. Carlos Santana reached on a fielder's choice with Framber airmailing a ground ball past Martin Maldonado tieing the game at one.
Santana was thrown out trying to get to second base. Dylan Moore then singled on a line drive to right, scoring Haniger. Cal Raleigh lined out to center, ending the inning. Mariners 2, Astros 1.
Jeremy Pena led off the bottom of the fourth roping a double to right center, bringing Yordan Alvarez to the plate with no outs. Yordan popped out to shallow left field, giving Alex Bregman a shot to tie the game. Bregman lined out to right making it two outs with Tucker up to bat. Tucker popped out to right, wasting a leadoff double from Jeremy Pena.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Framber walked Mitch Haniger, Carlos Santana doubled, and Dylan Moore recorded a walk which would be the last batter Valdez would face in the game. Hector Neris would come in to pitch to Cal Raleigh. Neris got Raleigh to ground out to the right side of the infield keeping the score Mariners 2, Astros 1.
The Astros would ride the momentum of Neris getting out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth. After a Jose Altuve strikeout, Jeremy Pena hit a bloop single to center giving him his second hit of the game bringing up Yordan Alvarez. And you guessed it, Yordan blasted a two-run homer into the Crawford Boxes giving the Astros a 3-2 lead.
You cannot stop Yordan, you can only hope to contain him. pic.twitter.com/qpcrEUXGkB
— MLB (@MLB) October 13, 2022
After the Astros bullpen held the Mariners scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, the Astros came to bat looking to add to their lead. With two outs in the inning, Jeremy Pena worked a walk bringing Yordan to the plate. Alvarez would be intentionally walked sending Alex Bregman into the batters box. Bregman quickly slapped a single to right field scoring Pena. Kyle Tucker would strike out, ending the inning. Astros 4, Mariners 2.
Ryan Pressly came in to pitch the ninth inning for Houston. After giving up a double to Julio Rodriguez, Pressly struck out Ty France to secure the win for Houston.
Astros 4, Mariners 2.
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.