The Houston Astros’ 2023 MLB season was nothing short of a wild ride, filled with highs and lows as well as some emotional moments. The following summarises the top five events that defined the Astros’ incredible journey:
Houston Astros’ top five moments in 2023
- The Houston Astros dramatically win the AL West
In a thrilling game against the Texas Rangers, the Astros’ hopes of winning another division championship were all but dashed. After being tied at the end of the regular season, the Astros won a tiebreaker to win their sixth AL West championship in seven years.
The Astros concluded the regular season with an 8-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, showing their tenacity and consistency in the face of multiple injuries and concerns during the season.
- Justin Verlander joins the Astros once again
Reuniting with future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, the Astros made an unexpected move that revived their World Series-winning tandem. After being traded by the New York Mets, Verlander went back to Houston with the Mets picking up a big chunk of his deal.
Verlander’s return was seen as vital reinforcement by the Astros, who were struggling with injuries and tough opposition. A 3.15 ERA over 16 starts, the veteran pitcher gave the squad a lift to their starting rotation and brought fresh energy to the team.
- Jose Altuve’s heroic ALCS Game 5 homer
The team’s main man, Jose Altuve, proved his legendary status at an important point in the ALCS Game 5 against the Texas Rangers. In the ninth inning, Altuve hit a three-run home run to give the team a 5-4 victory and avoid elimination. His image as a postseason the juggernaut was solidified by his 26 postseason home runs, which included three game-winning blasts in the ninth inning or later.
- A 2,000th hit for Altuve
Jose Altuve’s historic 2,000th hit was a ray of individual brilliance in the middle of a tough game against the Mariners. Altuve became the third Astros player to accomplish this feat, showing his tenacity and dedication to the game in the face of a difficult defeat.
Only two Astros legends, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, did what the 5-foot-6 giant needed to in 1,631 games. One of the most iconic moments in the franchise, the standing ovation from the audience and Altuve’s curtain call brought a magical finish to this memorable event.
- Framber Valdez throws no-hitter
The Astros’ history will always be etched on August 2, 2023, when Framber Valdez produced a pitching masterwork. Against the Cleveland Guardians, Valdez threw the 16th no-hitter in Astros history, determined to recover from a difficult July.
Valdez showed off his mastery with 93 pitches and 65 strikes while facing just one baserunner—a walk in the fifth inning. The left-hander’s no-hitter, which concluded a season full of incredible events, was a monument to his resilience and determination.
The journey of the 2023 Astros was filled with highs and lows, but no matter what, they always showed the heart of champions and made an indelible mark on the baseball community. The Astros’ journey continues to be evidence of the forever spirit of America’s pastime as they look forward to upcoming seasons.
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