Throughout 161 games since April 7, we’ve seen an Astros team just dazzling and knocking everybody out. In the 162nd and final contest of the regular season, it wasn’t any different as they top Phillies with a 3-2 score to take the three-game series. Framber Valdez was stellar again after two rough outings and Christian Vázquez delivered the winning run thanks to a solo home run.
Framber stymied the Phillies all game long. After allowing a single to JT Realmuto with two outs in the first inning, Valdez got the next six outs via strikeout – four of them with his curveball. He didn’t allow another hit until a Matt Vierling single to open the fifth.
The 28-year-old lefty finished the regular campaign in great shape, hurling five shutout innings, allowing two singles, giving up one walk, and striking out 10 hitters for the third time this season. He surpassed the 200-inning threshold for the first time in his MLB career (201.1 IP). His final record is 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA over 31 starts, also a season-high for him. He ends up only six strikeouts shy of the 200-mark (194).
Framber is the first left-hander to throw at least 200 innings for the Astros since Dallas Keuchel did it back in 2018.
That’s going to be it for Framber Valdez, who leaves with the most innings pitched in the American League. Put a bow on that incredible season.— Julia Morales (@JuliaMorales) October 5, 2022
Offensively, the Astros recorded 12 hits but managed to score only three times. And their first runs came in the third inning.
Chas McCormick, who went 3-for-3, doubled to drive in Mauricio Dubón while Yordan Álvarez hit an RBI single to make it 2-0. After Wednesday’s performance, McCormick is hitting .382 (13-for-34) in his last 11 games (10 starts).
The score remained intact until the seventh inning, when Vázquez finally hit his first bomb as an Astro and his ninth overall. It was a solo shot off lefty Michael Plassmeyer that traveled 404 feet through left-center field.
Fan Appreciation Day so Vázquez handed out a souvenir. pic.twitter.com/vxsMjOOU6o— Houston Astros (@astros) October 5, 2022
Manager Dusty Baker pulled up Framber after the fifth inning and with 88 pitches (54). Then, he used five relievers. Bryan Abreu threw a scoreless sixth with two punchouts, Ryne Stanek got three outs in the seventh on only 12 pitches, and Phil Maton surrendered the Phillies’ two runs while Rafael Montero completed the eighth. For the ninth, Ryan Pressly came out of the ‘pen to pick up his 33rd save of the season and see his ERA finish under 3.00 (2.98).
The Astros will have to wait for the winner of the AL Wild Card Series between the Blue Jays and the Mariners to begin the ALDS next Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy postseason baseball!
The Crawfish Boxes wants to express its gratitude to you for being always present and being part of all of this along the way. It’s been a great regular season and, fortunately, the best is yet to come for baseball and the Astros. It’s time for October baseball, baby!!!