Astros game: ALCS live updates — Change for Alvarez in lineup – Houston Chronicle

  • October 21, 2022

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The Astros, with a 1-0 lead after winning Wednesday’s opener, resume their American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at 6:37 p.m. Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
Follow along with the Houston Chronicle’s sports staff each game during the playoffs for breaking news, live updates and analysis from our team of writers. You can also text questions and get insider information from columnist Brian T. Smith here.
The Chronicle’s ongoing coverage is available to subscribers. Subscribe now for full access and to support our work.
8:57 p.m.: Framber Valdez strikes out the side in the seventh inning. He’s retired 11 of the past 12 New York hitters. — Greg Rajan
8:53 p.m.: This is the third time in his career that Framber Valdez has worked into the seventh inning of a postseason game. He went seven innings in the 2020 ALDS at Oakland and eight in last year’s ALCS at Boston. — Danielle Lerner
8:48 p.m.: With Astros runners on first and second and one out, Aledmys Díaz grounds into a double play to end the sixth inning. Framber Valdez goes back to the mound for the seventh with a 3-2 lead. — Greg Rajan
8:44 p.m.: After Kyle Tucker’s one-out single in the sixth, Luis Severino is pulled and Jonathan Loaisiga is in to face Yuli Gurriel. — Greg Rajan
8:39 p.m.: Quite the Astros defensive play there to end the top of the sixth. Alex Bregman bellyflopped and deflected Gleyber Torres’ ground ball, but Jeremy Peña snagged it barehanded off the hop and fired a throw to first base for the out. — Danielle Lerner
8:38 p.m.: As the top of the sixth inning begins, the Astros are repeating themselves.
Every playoff game they’ve played this season has been close, tight and could have gone either way.
Entering Game 2, the Astros were 4-0 this postseason but the four victories were by a combined six runs and came down to late home runs.
The Astros created separation in the third inning with Alex Bregman’s homer but Framber Valdez’s fielding soon gave the momentum away.
Good news: It’s still 3-2 Astros.
The other side: The Yankees are within one run in another tense playoff game.
And an update: A deflected liner to Jeremy Peña just helped Valdez and the Astros put up another New York zero. — Brian T. Smith
8:36 p.m.: This game has seen a double error by a pitcher and now the unusual 5-6-3 play after Alex Bregman dove to knock down a Gleyber Torres grounder. The ball went to shortstop Jeremy Peña, who threw to first to end the top of the sixth. The Astros still lead 3-2. — Greg Rajan
8:29 p.m.: The Astros squandered a leadoff single from Martín Maldonado — who’s reached base in both at-bats tonight — as Luis Severino retired Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez to end the fifth inning. Altuve is now an unfathomable 0-for-22 in the playoffs. — Greg Rajan
8:20 p.m.: There were two scary situations for Framber Valdez in the fifth. First, considering his throwing woes on balls in play, came the nubber he fielded off the bat of Oswaldo Cabrera. Valdez composed himself before making an accurate throw to first to retire the rookie. Then, after a Harrison Bader single, came Aaron Judge with the wind blowing straight out of Minute Maid Park. Valdez threw a curveball that Judge got too far under, lofting a high fly to shallow left field and leaving the Astros’ 3-2 lead intact. — Steve Schaeffer
8:16 p.m.: With the dangerous Aaron Judge up with the tying run on base, Framber Valdez gets him to fly out to end the top of the fifth inning and maintain the Astros’ 3-2 lead. — Greg Rajan 
8:06 p.m.: After striking out just two times in eight innings played in Game 1, Astros hitters have struck out five times through four innings tonight. — Danielle Lerner
8:05 p.m.: It’s 3-2 Astros heading to the fifth. Framber Valdez settled down and struck out the final two hitters in the fourth with the tying run on base. The Astros did nothing in their half. — Greg Rajan
7:57 p.m.: Framber Valdez has been a liability fielding his position all season. It manifested itself in Game 2 of the ALDS and, again, in the fourth inning tonight. With a three-run lead, Valdez has to have the wherewithal to compose himself after bobbling the grounder and not risk a throw to first base. Instead, he invited disaster. — Chandler Rome
7:54 p.m.: The three-run cushion Alex Bregman’s homer provided shrank in the next frame when Framber Valdez’s poor fielding from his division series start against the Mariners resurfaced again.
Following Aaron Judge’s leadoff single, Giancarlo Stanton batted a first-pitch curveball back at Valdez. The pitcher bobbled it, then badly misfired to first base on a throw he made while still on the ground. Valdez’s two-error play allowed the Yankees runners to advance to second and third base. Anthony Rizzo’s groundout scored Judge and moved Stanton to third. Gleyber Torres drove in another run and cut the Astros’ lead to 3-2. — Danielle Lerner
7:52 p.m.: High-fives on confidence echoed through the hall where many Crawford Boxes dwellers stand to get a better look at the game. A breeze swept though along with Alex Bergman’s home run, sending spirits upward.
“That’s the break we needed to get on top of this and get started,” Frederick Hume said after a big beer toast. “We’re just getting started.” — Dug Begley
7:49 p.m.: Sure looked like the wind blowing out to left field had a hand in Alex Bregman’s ball getting into the Crawford Boxes. Bregman hit it 360 feet and it had an expected batting average of just .040. It probably gets out on a closed-roof night, too, but the wind carried that thing a few more rows deep. — Chandler Rome
7:47 p.m.: Alex Bregman delivered the big home-run breakthrough.
Yordan Alvarez set up the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
If Alvarez doesn’t hustle on his way to first and beat out a potential inning-ending double play, Bregman doesn’t blast a three-run shot into left field.
Baseball is about the little things, especially in the playoffs.
By safely reaching first in the third, Alvarez helped guide the Astros to a 3-0 lead entering the fourth. — Brian T. Smith
7:43 p.m.: Alex Bregman has given the Astros a third-inning lead with a two-out, three-run home run down the left-field line to the Crawford Boxes off Yankees starter Luis Severino. Not surprisingly, it has put a jolt into the Minute Maid Park crowd. — Greg Rajan 
7:39 p.m.: Jeremy Peña’s single puts runners on first and second with one out for Yordan Alvarez in the third inning. Still a 0-0 game. — Greg Rajan
7:33 p.m.: Framber Valdez just completed his best inning of the night, thus far.
After consistently falling behind during the initial two frames, Valdez worked quickly in the third and kept the Yankees scoreless with a fly out, ground out and strikeout.
He’s allowed on hit and struck out two on 46 pitches (29 strikes).
Like Game 1, the Astros need to back up their starter with a run or two. — Brian T. Smith
7:31 p.m.: The Astros threatened in the second with a Kyle Tucker walk and Yuli Gurriel single. But an Aledmys Díaz strikeout and Chas McCormick popup leave the Astros 3-for-29 (.103) with runners in scoring position this postseason. Another indication that this team will go as far as its pitching can hold up — and with this staff, it might well be far — with such feeble production. — Steve Schaeffer
7:25 p.m.: Chas McCormick came to the plate with two men on and two out, and the crowd responded by doing the Chas Chomp, which we discovered the origins of here. The superstitious ritual didn’t work this time as McCormick popped out to the pitcher to end the threat. — Matt Young
7:24 p.m.: Luis Severino works his way out a jam with two runners on, striking out Aledmys Díaz before getting Chas McCormick to pop up to the mound to end the second inning. Score is still 0-0 heading to the third. — Greg Rajan
7:15 p.m.: The Astros have their first baserunner of the game after Kyle Tucker drew a one-out walk against Luis Severino in the second inning. Yuli Gurriel follows with a single to left. — Greg Rajan
7:08 p.m.: Framber Valdez got behind 2-0 to five of the first six hitters he faced. He gave up hard contact to the first five batters, too, but did not allow a base hit until Yankees No. 6 hitter Josh Donaldson doubled to right field on a ball hit 92 mph off the bat. Valdez ended the inning with his first strikeout of the game, sending Kyle Higashioka down swinging on an 80.3 mph curveball. — Danielle Lerner
7:07 p.m.: The Yankees put a runner on with Josh Donaldson’s two-out double but Framber Valdez ended the threat by striking out Kyle Higashioka. — Greg Rajan
6:53 p.m.: Jose Altuve fell to 0-for-20 in the ALDS during a quiet first inning for the Astros. Yankees rookie shortstop Oswald Peraza had a lot to do with it, making a nifty sliding play to steal an infield hit from Altuve and prolong his miserable stretch. — Chandler Rome
6:48 p.m.: The open roof is working.
Harrison Bader and Giancarlo Stanton hit into ground outs. Aaron Judge’s deep fly to center field stayed in the ballpark (and in Chas McCormick’s glove). Framber Valdez looked like Mr. Quality Start during a smooth first inning, while Astros fans took in the beauty of Minute Maid Park with an open October sky. — Brian T. Smith
6:45 p.m.: Framber Valdez gets off to a strong start, retiring the Yankees in order in the first inning. — Greg Rajan
6:42 p.m.: Cristian Javier is not in Houston’s bullpen with the available relievers, another indication he will be the team’s fourth starter in this series. Whether he starts Game 3 or 4 is still in question. — Chandler Rome
6:39 p.m.: Managing in his 12th postseason, Dusty Baker enters tonight with 44 playoff victories, tying him with Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona and Jim Leyland for fifth place all-time. With one more win, Baker will catch fourth-place Dave Roberts at 45. The top three are Hall of Famers Joe Torre (84), Tony La Russa (71) and  Bobby Cox (67). — Steve Schaeffer 
6:30 p.m.: When Roy Oswalt threw out a ceremonial first pitch before an Astros playoff game in 2018, he told reporters the Astros, who were defending champions at the time, could be on the verge of a dynasty. Four years later, Oswalt was back to throw out another first pitch before Game 2 of the ALCS and he was close to saying “I told you so.”
“I think I told you guys about (four) years ago, this could be a dynasty,” Oswalt said Thursday. “(Jose) Altuve is a great leader in the clubhouse, just a tremendous guy to have at the top of the lineup. I told you then they could go a long way with being this good for a while.”
While the Astros haven’t won any more championships since Oswalt’s proclamation, they are still on an ALCS streak, becoming the first team ever to make six straight ALCS appearances. They’re also attempting to reach their fourth World Series in the past six years. — Matt Young
6:27 p.m.: Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has wagered $10 million over the past five months on the Astros to win the World Series. He’s placed a few multimillion dollar bets, some with odds as high as 10-to-1, and others, later in the summer when the Astros were starting to roll at just 5-to-1. If the Astros do indeed win the second World Series in franchise history, McIngvale will pocket $75 million. From talking to McIngvale this week, who’s been at the ALCS games in his orange Alex Bregman Astros jersey, you’d never know he had that much money on the line.
“I feel good where I’m at right now,” McIngvale said. “The Astros are favorites, they’re playing well. The Yankees are obviously a great team, so it should be a great series. This is a lot of fun.” — Matt Young
6:09 p.m.: Nikki Reese didn’t let being 29 weeks pregnant weigh her down during a trip to the ballpark. Instead she just worked it into her look.
“I didn’t know what shirt to wear under the jersey, so I just made one,” said Reese, 30.
So her little bundle of boy — perhaps a major leaguer to be — at least for Thursday is a baseball.
Using red vinyl affixed to a white T-shirt, she created a perfect seam. Thankfully for her and Tyler Blake, 29, it’s also a gorgeous night for a game. — Dug Begley
Expectant mother Nikki Reese found a way to work baseball into her outfit for Thursday’s Game 2 of the ALCS.
5:54 p.m.: Like they did during Framber Valdez’s start in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, the Astros are wearing their alternate navy blue jerseys for Game 2 of the ALCS. The uniforms are Valdez’s favorites. He says the jerseys are “lighter” and easier to pitch in. — Chandler Rome
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5:06 p.m.: The Yankees’ Matt Carpenter, an Elkins graduate, is 36 years old, but he was still in awe of an elder in Game 1. Carpenter as designated hitter struck out in all four at-bats in the Astros’ 4-2 victory, including three times against Astros ace Justin Verlander, who at 39 has three years on his fellow grizzled veteran.
“It’s what the great ones do,” Carpenter said of Verlander preparing for him as much as he prepared for Verlander. “You feel like the game plan you have for him … he knew what your game plan was and did the opposite. I felt like I had a really good approach going into what I wanted to do, and he just never showed up in the spot I was looking.
“It’s a credit to him — he does his homework, too.” — Brent Zwerneman
4:55 p.m.: Reggie Jackson holding court before Astros games isn’t new.
But the real Mr. October has been a big media hit before Game 2 and is still engaging with reporters near the home dugout as New York begins to go through batting practice.
Jackson, who joined the Astros’ side in 2021, has been a consistent home and away presence for the club.
While Astros general manager James Click spoke with Dusty Baker and Craig Biggio behind the cage pregame, Jackson received constant attention on the infield and clearly enjoyed again being involved in a Yankees playoff series. — Brian T. Smith
4:45 p.m.: Dusty Baker said pregame that the Astros are still undecided on their starter for Saturday’s Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. It will be presumably be Lance McCullers Jr., who also started Game 3 of the ALDS against Seattle. Houston would also have Cristian Javier available to start Game 4, depending whether or not he is used in Games 2 and 3. — Danielle Lerner
4:34 p.m.: After Dusty Baker initially indicated third-base coach Gary Pettis would return to Minute Maid Park for Game 2, the Astros announced Pettis would remain away from the ballpark as a precaution. The team will update his status as the series progresses. First-base coach Omar López will coach third base again in Game 2 while quality control coach Dan Firova will man first. — Chandler Rome
4:29 p.m.: Game 1 of the Astros-Yankees ALCS brought a ratings uptick for TBS, which saw its highest Game 1 ratings for a league championship series since 2018, when the Astros played the Red Sox.
Wednesday’s game averaged 5.5 million viewers up 15 percent from the network’s 2021 LCS coverage of the Braves/Dodgers series.
In the Houston market, the broadcast drew in 17.1 percent of households, the best for a TBS MLB broadcast since Game 4 of the 2018 ALCS. — Greg Rajan
4:18 p.m.: For those who want the numbers on how the Astros have fared with the Minute Maid Park roof open during the playoffs:
Houston is 1-4 all-time in playoff games with the roof open. — Greg Rajan
Here are the games it’s been open for:
• 2001 NLDS Game 1 vs. Braves (7-4 loss)
• 2005 World Series Game 3 vs. White Sox (7-5 loss in 14 innings)
• 2005 World Series Game 4 vs. White Sox (1-0 loss)
• 2021 World Series Game 2 vs. Braves (7-2 win)
• 2021 World Series Game 6 vs. Braves (7-0 loss) 
4 p.m.: During pregame, the New York media is focused on the changes in the Yankees lineup for Game 2, which include moving Harrison Bader up to the leadoff spot and having 22-year-old Oswald Peraza making his first playoff appearance.
Peraza, who got called up to the big leagues in September and hit .306 (15-for-49) in 18 regular season games, will hit eighth in the lineup. He was left off the ALDS roster against the Guardians, but added for this series after Isiah Kiner-Falefa struggled defensively at shortstop against Cleveland.
“I’ve already told him a couple things, like just be in control,” second baseman Gleyber Torres said. “It’s postseason but today is just the same game. Just try to do the little things, just have fun, don’t try to do too much and just enjoy these moments.” — Matt Young
3:28 p.m.: First things first: The roof should be open. It’s a beautiful day in Houston and perfect weather for an outside baseball game in October.
But there will surely be a ton of roof talk leading up to and during Game 2. During pregame interviews, both Dusty Baker and Alex Bregman received roof questions.
“I think it just depends on the day,” Bregman said. “We’ve played a few games with the roof open over the last few years, maybe 20, 25 games. But I think it just depends. I’m not too sure. I’m not positive. But I know the ball (Jorge) Soler hit didn’t have any problem getting out last year.”
Baker sounded like a weather man discussing potential wind conditions. He also appeared to prefer a roof that never opens.
“It’s going to be a lot different. I think we only played with the roof open one or two times all year,” Baker said. “So the sightlines are different. Hopefully the shadows don’t come into affect. There’s going to be a predominant wind pattern that’s ordinarily not here. There’s not going to be as much noise, concentrated noise in the building. … A lot of times the wind comes in from right, bounces off the stands and then shoots back out to right. So it knocks down balls hit to left and it helps balls hit to right.”
It’s worth pointing out that the roof was open for Game 2 of the 2021 World Series and the Astros won that one 7-2. — Brian T. Smith
3:23 p.m.: Jose Altuve will be just fine.
Kyle Tucker will hit.
Those were the pregame messages from Astros manager Dusty Baker on Thursday before his team attempted to take a 2-0 lead against the Yankees in the ALCS.
Altuve is 0-for-19 with seven strikeouts during the playoffs. Tucker is 4-for-19 and also has seven strikeouts.
The good news for the Astros entering Game 2: They’re 4-0 in the postseason, even with Altuve and Tucker off at the plate.
“I ain’t worried about Jose Altuve,” said Baker, who correctly pointed out that Altuve has been hitting his entire life. — Brian T. Smith
3:22 p.m.: Alex Bregman’s offseason will include hosting the Houston Sports Awards show Jan. 25 at the Wortham Theater. The Astros third baseman is a two-time winner at the show, for Moment of the Year in 2018 and Athlete of the Year in 2020. — Greg Rajan
3:13 p.m.: After missing Game 1 while battling an illness, third-base coach Gary Pettis will rejoin the Astros tonight for Game 2, but will not coach third base. — Chandler Rome
3 p.m.: Because he pitched with the Yankees facing elimination Sunday in Game 4 at Cleveland, the Astros won’t face New York ace Gerrit Cole until Saturday’s Game 3.
That’s a major plus for Houston, but it’s all contingent on taking care of home-field advantage, says TBS analyst Ron Darling.
“That’s huge, unless the Yankees steal one here,” Darling said before Game 1. “Then it really goes in the Yankees’ favor because they’ll have their best pitchers coming in Games 3 and 4 with Cole and Nestor (Cortes).”
Cole, who played for the Astros from 2018-19, has faced his former team three times since signing with the Yankees. He’s 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched against Houston the past two seasons. — Greg Rajan
2:48 p.m.: This ALCS is the 12th best-of-7 series in Astros playoff history. Of the previous 11, they’ve taken a 2-0 lead just one time — in the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees after winning the first two games at Minute Maid Park. Here’s a breakdown of the other 10 completed series: Tied 1-1 (seven times), trailing 2-0 (three times). All-time, Houston is 5-6 in Game 2 of a best-of-7 playoff series. — Greg Rajan  
2:36 p.m.: Dusty Baker wrote the same batting order for Game 2 as Game 1 with one defensive shakeup. Aledmys Díaz is in left field over Yordan Alvarez, perhaps because Framber Valdez induces so few fly balls. Of the three left fielders available — Alvarez, Díaz and Trey Mancini — the team views Alvarez as its best defensive option. Mancini sitting again, especially with Valdez on the mound, is a telling sign of how far his stock has fallen.
Here is the Astros’ full lineup. — Chandler Rome
1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Jeremy Peña, SS
3. Yordan Alvarez, DH
4. Alex Bregman, 3B
5. Kyle Tucker, RF
6. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
7. Aledmys Díaz, LF
8. Chas McCormick, CF
9. Martín Maldonado, C
Framber Valdez LHP
2:26 p.m.: Shortstop Jeremy Peña and outfielder Kyle Tucker are finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards at their positions. Also a finalist at shortstop: Carlos Correa, the former Astro. — Chandler Rome
 
2 p.m.: Tonight will be the last game at Minute Maid Park before a three-game stretch at Yankee Stadium. 
The teams are off Friday, but then will play every day through a possible Game 7. The next three are in New York, followed by potential Games 6 and 7 back in Houston.
Here’s a look at game times and the full schedule for the ALCS.
1:30 p.m.: Framber Valdez will start Game 2. Valdez will pitch on six days’ rest after he started Game 2 of the AL Division Series against Seattle on Oct. 13, when he yielded two earned runs, four hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 5⅔ innings.
Houston’s decision to throw Valdez in Game 2 means he will be lined up to start Game 6 on regular rest. If Lance McCullers Jr. starts in Game 3 on Saturday, it would mean he is unavailable on regular rest for the remainder of the series.
1:01 p.m.: Luis Severino gets the start for the Yankees in Game 2 against a team he hasn’t had a lot of playoff success against. The 28-year-old righty started two games against the Astros in the 2017 ALCS. The Yankees lost both of those games with Severino giving up four runs and walking six in a combined 8.2 innings. In the 2019 ALCS, he started Game 3 and gave up two runs in 4.1 innings in a 4-1 Yankees loss. — Matt Young
12:40 p.m.: His third time calling an Astros ALCS also brings TBS analyst Ron Darling back to the site of one of the greatest triumphs of his big league career, a tantalizing what-if and an infamous arrest he can laugh about 36 years later. He also shares his thoughts on how the 2022 Astros compare to previous teams during the franchise’s current era of success. — Greg Rajan
12:05 p.m.: The Yankees seem determined to not let Yordan Alvarez beat them this series, but it was the bottom of the Astros order that looks big so far. The bottom four hitters in Houston’s order  —  Yuli Gurriel, Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and Martin Maldonado — took 16 plate appearances Wednesday. Five ended with a baserunner. They struck four of the lineup’s seven hits. Gurriel and McCormick each supplied solo home runs in the sixth against Yankees reliever Clarke Schmidt, breaking a 1-1 tie and staking baseball’s best bullpen to a lead it did not relinquish. — Chandler Rome
11:20 a.m.: The Chas Chomp got a lot of airtime when Astros players did it to greet Chas McCormick in the dugout after his sixth-inning home run in Game 1. After the game, McCormick said he knows a fan started it last year, but didn’t know exactly who it was. Turns out, it was Clear Creek ISD teacher Scott Agruso, who told us why he started it and how it’s starting to catch on. — Matt Young
10:31 a.m.: The roof at Minute Maid Park will be open for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday night.
First pitch temperatures are expected in the low to mid-70s. The Astros played just one regular-season game with the roof open: A 4-3 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 22.
Many Astros players prefer the roof closed, but keeping it shut in the postseason is another matter. Commissioner Rob Manfred requested the roof open for Games 2 and 6 of the 2021 World Series against the Atlanta Braves. The Astros are 1-4 all-time in the postseason with the Minute Maid Park roof open.  — Chandler Rome
Follow along with the Houston Chronicle’s sports staff each game during the playoffs for breaking news, live updates and analysis from our team of writers. You can also text questions and get insider information from columnist Brian T. Smith here.
The Chronicle’s ongoing coverage is available to subscribers. Subscribe now for full access and to support our work.
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Chandler Rome joined the Houston Chronicle in 2018 to cover the Astros after spending one year in Tuscaloosa covering Alabama football – during which Nick Saban asked if he attended college. He did, at LSU, where he covered the Tigers baseball team for nearly four years. He covered most of the Astros’ 2015 playoff run, too, as an intern for MLB.com
Danielle Lerner covers the Rockets, Astros and a variety of sports for the Houston Chronicle. She previously covered college basketball for The Daily Memphian, The Athletic and the Louisville Courier Journal. A true utility player, she has also written about professional soccer, horse racing, college football and college baseball. Her work has been honored by APSE and SPJ. A native Californian, Lerner spends her free time being active outdoors and exploring Houston’s taco scene.
Brian T. Smith has been a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle since 2015 and joined the newspaper in 2012. He has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Pro Football Writers of America and Pro Basketball Writers Association in a variety of categories. Smith was a Texans beat writer for the Chronicle from 2013-15 and an Astros beat writer from 2012-13. The New Orleans-area native previously covered the NBA’s Utah Jazz (The Salt Lake Tribune) and Portland Trail Blazers (The Columbian), among other beats. He is the author of the book “Liftoff.”
Brent Zwerneman is a staff writer for the Houston Chronicle covering Texas A&M athletics. He is a graduate of Oak Ridge High School and Sam Houston State University, where he played baseball.
Brent is the author of four published books about Texas A&M, three related to A&M athletics. He’s a five-time winner of APSE National Top 10 writing awards for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, including in 2021 breaking the bombshell college football story of the decade: Texas and Oklahoma secretly planning a move to the SEC.
He netted a national APSE second-place finish for breaking the Dennis Franchione “secret newsletter” scandal in 2007, and his coverage of Texas A&M’s move to the SEC from the Big 12 also netted a third-place finish nationally in 2012.
He’s most proud on the sports front, however, of earning Dayton Invitational Basketball Tournament MVP honors in 1988.
Brent met his wife, KBTX-TV news anchor Crystal Galny, in the Dixie Chicken before an A&M-Texas Tech football game in 2002, and the couple has three children: Will, Zoe and Brady.
Greg Rajan is the senior editor for Texas Sports Nation, the Houston Chronicle’s sports website, and also curates the daily TXSN newsletter and writes about sports media. He joined the Chronicle in January 2015 as the online sports editor. He previously worked as the sports editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. He led that sports section to three Associated Press Sports Editors top-10 national awards and his work has been honored by APSE and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors. He also has worked at the Austin American-Statesman and Temple Daily Telegram.
He is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University and Bowie High School in Austin.
Matt Young is a trending sports reporter at the Houston Chronicle.
Matt has been a sports editor/writer at the Chronicle since 2015. He’s proudly from Alief and occasionally sits alone in his four-cornered room staring at candles. Reach him at [email protected]
Employed by the Houston Chronicle since 1993, Steve Schaeffer is presently the Assistant Sports Editor and oversees Astros coverage. He has won numerous awards for his headline writing.
A native Oklahoman and University of Arkansas graduate, Steve had previous newspaper stints at the Houston Post and Tulsa World and for two years was the sports director for KBRS, a now-defunct radio station in Springdale, Ark.
Sports editor Reid Laymance is in his second tour of duty with the Houston Chronicle. A graduate of Westbury High School and The University of Texas at Austin, Laymance started his career at The Dallas Morning News in 1983 before moving to the National Sports Daily.
Reid came to the Houston Chronicle in 1991 and helped oversee the paper’s coverage of the Rockets’ back-to-back championships. He left the Houston Chronicle to be sports editor at the San Jose Mercury News then moved to the Boston Globe as a senior assistant sports editor, where he coordinated coverage for the Red Sox’s World Series wins in 2004 and 2007, as well as a seemingly endless series of Patriots Super Bowl victories. From Boston, Laymance went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as sports editor and another World Series win (Cardinals, 2011) before returning to his Houston roots.
Dug Begley is the transportation writer for the Houston Chronicle.

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