Brett Oberholtzer becomes first Astro to throw a complete game in 2013

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24-year-old rookie Brett Oberholtzer blanked the Mariners over nine innings this afternoon, becoming the first Astro to throw a complete game since Jordan Lyles on September 30 last year. Lyles was also the last to throw a shutout.

Oberholtzer allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out five. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma was nearly as good, holding the Astros scoreless through seven on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. The Astros victimized reliever Charlie Furbush in the eighth to give their starter some support. Jose Altuve and Jason Castro hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the eighth. Castro would later score on a bunt single by Brandon Barnes.

Oberholtzer worked around a one-out single in the ninth to wrap up the shutout.

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO Pit
Jordan Lyles 2012-09-30 HOU MIL W 7-0 9.0 4 0 0 1 3 103
Lucas Harrell 2012-06-27 HOU SDP W 1-0 9.0 6 0 0 4 7 109
Dallas Keuchel 2012-06-23 HOU CLE W 8-1 9.0 6 1 1 1 3 108
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2013.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.