Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13441319i) Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez is congratulated in the dugout after pitching the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, in Houston Phillies Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 05 Oct 2022
With neither team having anything significant to gain from the 162nd and final game of the 2022 regular season, the Astros and Phillies used it as a chance for some last at-bats and appearances for players before the postseason.
A win is still a win, though, and the Astros finish the year with another series victory, taking the finale 3-2.
Houston grabs a lead, Valdez finishes strong
After scoreless first and second innings on both sides, Houston would strike first in the bottom of the third. Mauricio Dubón led off with a double, then scored on a one-out RBI double by Chas McCormick. Yordan Alvarez doubled the lead with two outs, getting an RBI single to make it 2-0 as the game headed to the fourth.
In his final start of the regular season, Framber Valdez did well to put the last two disappointing starts well behind him to head into the postseason on a positive note. Coming in on a limit on how far he would go, he capitalized on his time on the mound, allowing just two hits while striking out ten over five innings of scoreless work, leaving Houston’s 2-0 lead intact.
Phillies cut into the lead, but Astros finish with a win
Bryan Abreu kicked off the day for the bullpen, getting a 1-2-3 top of the sixth with two strikeouts. Ryne Stanek was next, and he, too, sat down the three batters he faced to keep Philadelphia off the board. With the scoreless inning, Stanek finishes his regular season with a 1.15 ERA, the lowest for a reliever in franchise history.
Christian Vázquez added one more to the lead in the bottom of the seventh, getting a two-out solo homer to make it 3-0, and also marked Vázquez’s first homer with the Astros. Phil Maton pitched the top of the eighth to get an opportunity to face his younger brother Nick, who would win the battle with a single before the Phillies would get an RBI double by Brandon Marsh to cut the lead to 3-1.
After allowing a sac fly to make it a one-run game, Rafael Montero closed out the top of the eighth inning. Ryan Pressly came on for one last save opportunity for the regular season and would get it, his 33rd of the year to finish off the 106th win for Houston’s year.
News and notes
Framber finishes on top: With his five innings of work in Wednesday’s final game, Framber Valdez reached 201.1 IP on the season, the most of any AL starter.
Sitting out the Wild Card Round: By earning their first-round bye, the Astros will get to sit and watch the eight Wild-Card round teams square off starting on Friday afternoon.
Kicking off the ALDS: ALDS Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 11th, at Minute Maid Park in Houston, time TBD. The Astros will host the winner between the Mariners and Blue Jays.