2022 American League Division Series 1

From BR Bullpen

2022 American League Division Series
Houston Astros logo
2022 American League Division Series logo
Seattle Mariners logo
Houston Astros
106 - 56 in the AL
3 - 0
Series Summary
Seattle Mariners
90 - 72 in the AL


The Teams[edit]




Series results[edit]

Game Score Date Starters Time (ET)
1 Seattle Mariners 7 Houston Astros 8 October 11 Logan Gilbert (0-0) Justin Verlander (0-0) 3:37 pm
2 Seattle Mariners 2 Houston Astros 4 October 13 Luis Castillo (0-1) Framber Valdez (0-0) 3:37 pm
3 Houston Astros 1 Seattle Mariners 0 October 15 Lance McCullers (0-0) George Kirby (0-0) 4:07 pm


Game 1 @ Minute Maid Park[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mariners 1 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 7 13 0
Astros 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 3 8 11 0
WP: Rafael Montero (1-0); LP: Robbie Ray (0-1)
Home Runs: SEA - J.P. Crawford (1), Eugenio Suarez (1); HOU - Yuli Gurriel (1), Alex Bregman (1), Yordan Alvarez (1)
  • Attendance: 41,125

Game 1 was a real barnburner, not decided until the final pitch of the game, with the Mariners being on the wrong end of a spectacular comeback after pulling one of the great ones in postseason history three days earlier against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card Series. On the mound, the veteran Justin Verlander, overwhelming favorite to win the Cy Young Award after a fantastic comeback from Tommy John surgery, faced second-year man Logan Gilbert, also coming off an impressive season, even if not near the level of Verlander's. However, the Mariners got to Verlander early and often, hitting him very hard. By the end of the 2nd inning, they were already up, 4-0, thanks to a run-scoring single by Cal Raleigh in the 1st, and a two-run double by Julio Rodríguez followed by a single by Ty France, in the 2nd.

In the 3rd, the Astros cut Seattle's lead in half when Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run double. But the scoring didn't stop, as Seattle immediately got those two runs back in the 4th, on a homer by J.P. Crawford, a triple by Rodríguez and a double by France. Eugenio Suárez followed with a single, completing a four-batter reverse cycle, but France misjudged the hit, trying to score from second but being thrown out by a country mile by LF Alvarez. It was now 6-2, and Verlander looked like a batting practice pitcher. Yuli Gurriel then led off the bottom of the 4th with a solo homer, making it 6-3, after which things calmed down for a while.

Having given up 6 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings, Verlander gave way to Bryan Abreu in the 5th and then Cristian Javier with two outs in the 6th. For his part, Gilbert was still on the mound when the bottom of the 6th started, but was replaced by Matt Brash after a one-out single by Kyle Tucker. Brash unleashed a couple of wild pitches, but got out of the inning thanks to a hard line drive by Gurriel caught by LF Jarred Kelenic and a hard-hit grounder to third base by Trey Mancini on which Suarez made a nice play. Suarez then homered off Javier in the top of the 7th. With a 7-3 lead and three innings left to play, the Mariners looked to be in complete control, especially as Diego Castillo pitched a scoreless 7th while Dusty Baker sent in a number of pinch-hitters. In the 8th, Andres Munoz got the call from Scott Servais, but he gave up a single to Alvarez followed by a homer by Alex Bregman, cutting the lead to 7-5. In the 9th, Paul Sewald got the ball, but had trouble with his control. He retired Christian Vazquez on a ground ball, but pinch-hitter David Hensley, batting for Mauricio Dubon worked a full count, and then was grazed by an inside pitch to take first base. Jake Meyers ran for him, but Sewald struck out José Altuve for the second out. However, rookie Jeremy Pena kept the inning going with a single up the middle, bring up Alvarez, probably the Astros' most dangerous hitter. In a fateful decision, Servais brought in Robbie Ray, exclusively a starter over the past two seasons, to face the slugger, in order to gain the platoon advantage, but on Ray's second pitch, Alvarez absolutely crushed the ball, sending it rocketing deep into the right-field seats to give the Astros a completely unexpected 8-7 win as Minute Maid Park went wild.

Game 2 @ Minute Maid Park[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mariners 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
Astros 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 x 4 6 1
WP: Hector Neris (1-0); LP: Luis Castillo (0-1); SV: Ryan Pressly (1)
Home Runs: HOU - Kyle Tucker (1), Yordan Alvarez (2)
  • Attendance: 41,774

Game 2 had some similarities to Game 1 as the Mariners once again saw a late lead disappear into the buzzsaw that was Yordan Alvarez, but it was also very different as it was largely low-scoring. It was a match-up of two very good pitchers, with Luis Castillo, coming off an outstanding performance in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, going against Framber Valdez, who had made more quality starts than any other pitcher in the majors during the regular season. Both pitchers started well, as they combined to retire the first ten batters before Kyle Tucker opened the score with a homer off Castillo. It was the Mariners starter's only mistake in the first five innings. For his part, Valdez did not give up a hit until J.P. Crawford doubled with two outs in the 3rd, but he was stranded there.

The Mariners took the lead in the 4th. Eugenio Suarez drew a one-out walk, which was followed by a double by Mitch Haniger. Next up was Carlos Santana who hit a ball to the right side of the mound. Valdez fielded it, while Suarez broke for home. Valdez's throw to get him was wide, getting past C Martin Maldonado; however, it bounced off the backstop back to the catcher, who threw to 2B Jose Altuve, catching Santana in a rundown. He was tagged out with Haniger staying put at third base, neither attempting to score, or to fake a dash home that could have drawn a throw and saved Santana. But, in any case, Dylan Moore followed with a single and Haniger scored anyway, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead. Castillo then nursed it through the next two innings, allowing just one hit.

The game was decided in the 6th. The Mariners loaded the bases against Valdez with two outs, on a walk to Haniger, a double by Santana, and another walk to Moore. Dusty Baker lifted Valdez at that point, bringing in Hector Neris, who got out of the jam by getting Cal Raleigh to ground out to SS. Castillo also retired the first two men in the bottom of the 6th, and seemed to be out of the inning when Jeremy Pena hit a soft fly ball to center. However, in a scene very similar to Crawford's base-clearing double in the 8th inning that tied the second game of the Wild Card Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, both CF Julio Rodríguez and 2B Adam Frazier converged towards the ball, and Rodríguez, who had the better shot at catching the ball, peeled off in order not to crash into Frazier who was running at full speed. The ball fell to the ground untouched. That brought up Alvarez, and for those who had missed his game-winning blast two days before, he hit another huge homer, this one landing in the Crawford Boxes in left field, not far from where his relatives were sitting. Houston's lead would hold for the remainder of the game. The Mariners put a couple of runners on base via walks against Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero in the 7th, but the big hit never came to drive them in, and neither did it in the 8th when the Mariners stranded another baserunner. Castillo left after completing seven innings, the two homers being his sole mistakes.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Astros scored an important insurance run against Andres Munoz. Once again, the trouble started after two outs, by way of Pena who worked a walk. Scott Servais wanted nothing to do with Alvarez, having already been burned twice, so he had him intentionally walked even though first base was occupied. Perhaps the move avoided another long ball, but Munoz now had to pitch to Alex Bregman, who is no slouch, and the third baseman made Seattle pay by hitting a single to right that scored Pena from second base. That meant that Ryan Pressly had some breathing room when he came in to close the game in the 9th, which he needed as he walked the first man he faced, Frazier, on four pitches. But in a game in which all the breaks went Houston's way, Crawford followed by scorching a line drive right at 1B Yuli Gurriel, who barely had to move after catching it to step on the bag and turn an unassisted double play. Thus, when Rodríguez followed with a double, there was no one on base, and Pressly then ended the game by striking out Ty France.

Game 3 @ Safeco Field[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 R H E
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 11 0
Mariners 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
WP: Luis Garcia (1-0); LP: Penn Murfee (0-1)
Home Runs: HOU - Jeremy Peña (1)
  • Attendance: 47,690

Game 3 was the sort of incredible marathon game one only expects to see once every couple of decades - except there was one almost exactly like it a week earlier to the day. The Astros and Mariners were unable to score for 17 full innings before the game's only run crossed the plate on a solo homer, the hero being Astros rookie SS Jeremy Peña after neither team was able to mount a solid threat for inning after inning as the two bullpens grew thinner and thinner, and eventually, Seattle cracked, in its first home postseason game since 2001. The atmosphere was raucous throughout the game, but in the end, the Astros were able to complete the sweep and would get a bit of needed rest before starting the ALCS against an opponent still to be determined. The game set a number of records, including most scoreless innings in the postseason, beating the mark of 14 1/2 innings set by the Guardians and the Rays in the Wild Card Series a week earlier, and it lasted six hours and 22 minutes.

The two starters were George Kirby for the Mariners and Lance McCullers for the Astros, and while both were long gone by the time the game was decided, their outstanding work was key to the game being scoreless that long. The rookie Kirby went 7 innings, allowing 6 hits but no walks, and McCullers went 6, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks. Among the early highlights was a strange play at first base when in the 5th, Martin Maldonado singled and Jose Altuve popped up right to first base. Maldonado tried to move away from 1B Ty France while maintaining contact with the base, but he stepped off just as France caught the ball with his foot on the bag for an unusual unassisted double play. Earlier, both teams had wasted good scoring chances: the Astros in the 2nd when Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel both singled with one out, but Kirby struck out the next two batters, and again in the 4th when they loaded the bases on two hit batsmen and a single, but Kirby forced Chas McCormick to fly out to center. The Mariners' best chance came in the bottom of the 2nd when McCullers walked the first two batters, Cal Raleigh and Mitch Haniger, but then got out with two fly balls and a strikeout.

The Astros again stranded two baserunners in the 7th, but the best scoring chance of all came in the 9th. Diego Castillo was on the mound for Seattle and he gave up a single to Gurriel before hitting pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz with a pitch. McCormick bunted the runners over to second and third and, needing a strikeout, Scott Servais brought in hard-throwing rookie Matt Brash, who struck out both Christian Vazquez and Altuve to strand both runners. The Mariners then had a good opportunity of their own against closer Ryan Pressly at the bottom of the inning, when Eugenio Suarez led off with a single to the hole at shortstop. He was replaced by pinch-runner Trey Moore, but Raleigh immediately forced him out. Having already used one pinch-runner in vain, Servais decided not to run for his catcher, and he advanced to scoring position when Mitch Haniger was hit by a pitch, but Pressly struck out Carlos Santana after a long battle, and then got Adam Frazier to fly out. The game then settled into a long string of extra innings in which neither team could get much of anything going on offense. A parade of relievers came to the mound emptying both bullpens, as all the hitters seem to either strike out (there were a total of 42 in the game, another record, with both teams getting at least 20) or hit a weak fly ball. The Astros ran out of "real" relievers first, turning to Luis Garcia, who was the scheduled Game 4 starter, in the 14th inning (Dusty Baker could do this before he still had Jose Urquidy available to start Game 4) and went for five full innings in picking up the win. For Seattle, Servais had to turn to little-used lefty specialist Matthew Boyd in the 16th, and it almost cost him the game as Boyd gave up a one-out single to Bregman followed by a walk to Tucker. Boyd did not look sharp at all, so he was yanked in favor of rookie Penn Murfee, who got out of the jam thanks to a tremendous running catch by Julio Rodríguez in center field which deprived Gurriel of extra bases, after which Diaz popped up to end the inning. Seattle still had Robbie Ray available, but after his coughing up Game 1, it was clear that he would only come in if there was absolutely no other option. So Murfee kept on pitching, much longer than usual for him. The Mariners did mount a final sort-of threat in the 17th, when Santana singled with two outs, on a ball that would likely have given a faster runner a double, then took second on a wild pitch by Garcia. At this point, Servais used a pinch-runner, Taylor Trammell, but once again, the needed hit did not come, as Frazier popped out to shortstop.

Finally, the elastic broke in the 18th inning. Murfee was now starting a third inning, and he was surprised by the first batter, Peña, who hit a ball solidly to center field. It looked like another of the countless fly balls there had been in the game, but it kept going and when Rodríguez reached the wall, he ran out of room, as the ball landed a few rows deep in the bleachers for a solo homer. Ray finally came in to pitch after Murfee, clearly out of gas, got Yordan Alvarez out but allowed a single to Bregman. Ray actually pitched well, striking out Tucker and getting Gurriel to fly out, but the one run seemed like a mountain to climb by then. Garcia returned for a fifth inning of work - not that Baker had any other option left - and he retired the Mariners in order, ending the marathon and sending Houston to the ALCS for the sixth straight season.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregg Bell (The Tacoma News Tribune): "Fans’ ‘Let’s Go Mariners!’ salute after final out can’t change overswinging, season ending", Yahoo! News, October 16, 2022. [1]
  • Hannah Keyser: "Mariners' 18-inning playoff loss was still worth the wait for fans", Yahoo! Sports, October 16, 2022. [2]
  • Daniel Kramer: "Mariners' postseason run ends after 18-inning duel: Seattle leaves mark, puts division rival Houston on notice heading into 2023 season", mlb.com, October 16, 2022. [3]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Astros win 18-inning marathon to reach 6th straight ALCS: Peña crushes tiebreaking homer in 18th, and 8 pitchers shut out Seattle for the sweep", mlb.com, October 16, 2022. [4]
  • Mike Petriello: "Mariners-Astros position-by-position breakdown", mlb.com, October 9, 2022. [5]
  • Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru: "8 wild facts about the 18-inning Game 3 nail-biter", mlb.com, October 16, 2022. [6]
  • Lauren Smith (Tacoma News Tribune): "Mariners battle the Astros starting next week, and yes, that means a home game in Seattle", Yahoo! News, October 8, 2022. [7]

Related Sites[edit]

<< 2021

2022 Postseason

2023 >>

NL Wild Card Series Phillies (WC3) over Cardinals (NLC) (2-0)

NL Wild Card Series Padres (WC2) over Mets (WC1) (2-1)

NL Division Series Padres (WC) over Dodgers (NLW) (3-1)

NL Division Series Phillies (WC) over Braves (NLE) (3-1)

NL Championship Series Phillies (WC) over Padres (WC) (4-1)

World Series Astros (AL) over Phillies (NL) (4-2)

AL Championship Series Astros (ALW) over Yankees (ALE) (4-0)

AL Division Series Astros (ALW) over Mariners (WC) (3-0)

AL Division Series Yankees (ALE) over Guardians (ALC) (3-2)

AL Wild Card Series Guardians (ALC) over Rays (WC3) (2-0)

AL Wild Card Series Mariners (WC2) over Blue Jays (WC1) (2-0)

Major League Baseball American League Division Series

1981-1 | 1981-2
1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2 | 2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008-1 | 2008-2 | 2009-1 | 2009-2
2010-1 | 2010-2 | 2011-1 | 2011-2 | 2012-1 | 2012-2 | 2013-1 | 2013-2 | 2014-1 | 2014-2 | 2015-1 | 2015-2 | 2016-1 | 2016-2 | 2017-1 | 2017-2 | 2018-1 | 2018-2 | 2019-1 | 2019-2
2020-1 | 2020-2 | 2021-1 | 2021-2 | 2022-1 | 2022-2 | 2023-1 | 2023-2