Astros-Mariners Game 1: Phil Maton punches locker, injures hand – Houston Chronicle

  • October 11, 2022

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The Astros’ playoff run toward a fourth World Series in six years began today as they host the Seattle Mariners in Game 1 of the American League Division Series 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.
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5:59 p.m. — This game hasn’t seen too many great defensive plays, but Kyle Tucker just made one at the fence in right field, leaping to rob Julio Rodriguez of extra bases. — Greg Rajan
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5:58 p.m. — In getting the Astros back in the game with his two-run homer in the eighth, Alex Bregman tied a major league record. It was Bregman’s 13th postseason home run, matching Justin Turner for the most all-time among third basemen. — Steve Schaeffer
5:53 p.m. — The Astros had the tying run at the plate in Trey Mancini with two outs in the eighth but he struck out against Mariners reliever Andres Muñoz to keep the score 7-5. Rafael Montero is coming in to pitch the ninth for the Astros. — Greg Rajan 
5:45 p.m. — Alex Bregman’s two-run homer with one out in the eighth inning off Mariners reliever Andres Muñoz has drawn the Astros within 7-5 and put a charge into Minute Maid Park. — Greg Rajan 
5:33 p.m. — Hunter Brown’s first career postseason appearance was a scoreless, 13-pitch eighth inning. The rookie righthander touched 96.8 mph with his fastball and gave up one hit, a hard-hit line drive single with two outs, but appeared composed and under control. The Astros have come to expect nothing less from Brown since his Sept. 5 debut. — Danielle Lerner
5:09 p.m. — Cristian Javier struck out the first two batters he faced at the top of Seattle’s order before he gave up a solo home run to Mariners three-hole hitter Eugenio Suárez in the seventh inning. The Astros’ deficit is back to four runs, 7-3, heading to the bottom of the seventh. — Danielle Lerner
5:05 p.m. — Trey Mancini’s struggles continue.
Kyle Tucker reached third base in the bottom of the sixth. But Mancini fell behind 1-2 to reliever Matt Brash, who was wild and vulnerable on the mound, then grounded out to end the threat.
Mancini is 0-for-3 today. Martín Maldonado is 0-for-2. The Astros are 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and they continue to be off at the plate in Game 1. — Brian T. Smith
5:02 p.m. — The Astros had a runner on second base with one out but couldn’t score as Mariners reliever Matt Brash got Yuli Gurriel to line out to third. After a wild pitch, Trey Mancini grounded out on a slow roller to third to end the threat. Mariners still up 6-3 heading to the seventh. — Greg Rajan
4:52 p.m. — Mariners starter Logan Gilbert is out after giving up a one-out infield single to Kyle Tucker in the sixth inning. Matt Brash is in to face Yuli Gurriel, who was 2-for-2 against Gilbert. Mariners still lead 6-3. — Greg Rajan
4:45 p.m. — This could be a series-altering pitching change. In a game his team trails by three, Dusty Baker is going to Cristian Javier with Seattle’s lineup turning over in the sixth. It’s not a stretch to call Javier the Astros’ hottest pitcher entering the postseason. An argument could be made he should have started Game 2 or 3. Now, Baker will burn him in a game the Astros are losing. Off days Wednesday and Friday will allow Javier to get rest and bounce back, but it would behoove the Astros to win a game in which they use such a valuable weapon. — Greg Rajan
4:43 p.m. — Bryan Abreu is out after throwing a much-needed 1 ⅔ innings of shutout relief. Cristian Javier is in with two outs in the sixth inning and the bases empty.  Astros still trail 6-3. — Greg Rajan
4:33 p.m. — Mariners starter Logan Gilbert has settled into a rhythm. He just dispatched of Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez on eight pitches in the fifth. Altuve waved over a wicked curveball and Alvarez was late on a 97 mph fastball. Gilbert is through five, but Seattle does have action in its bullpen. — Chandler Rome
4:28 p.m. — Bryan Abreu gave up a hit, but nothing else as the Astros still trail the Mariners 6-3 heading to he bottom of the fifth. — Greg Rajan 
4:14 p.m. — After allowing six earned runs in four innings, undoubtedly the worst playoff start of his Astros career, Justin Verlander has been replaced with Bryan Abreu to start the fifth inning. Verlander gave up 10 hits and threw 81 pitches, 54 for strikes. — Greg Rajan
4:11 p.m. — Julio Rodríguez looks like a future World Series MVP.
Justin Verlander is getting rocked, in the bad way.
Dusty Baker allowed his Game 1 starter to keep getting hammered.
And the Astros are fortunate to only be down 6-3 against the scorching hot Seattle Mariners.
Other than that, it’s been a beautiful day inside Minute Maid Park.
Where would the Astros be without Yuli Gurriel? That’s a serious question after three-plus innings. Gurriel, who struggled throughout the 2022 season, is 2-for-2 with a solo home run. — Brian T. Smith
4:06 p.m. — Yuli Gurriel is 2-for-2 off Mariners starter Logan Gilbert after crushing a solo home run to start the fourth inning. Houston could use a bounce-back from Gurriel after an awful regular season. — Chandler Rome
4:05 p.m. — Through four innings Justin Verlander has surrendered 10 hits, matching his season-high last reached in his eighth start of the year, also against Seattle. That was a six-inning, six-run outing at T-Mobile Park on May 27. — Chandler Rome
4:02 p.m. — You don’t see this often, but in their final four at-bats of the fourth, the Mariners hit for the cycle, getting a home run (J.P. Crawford), triple (Julio Rodriguez), double (Ty France) and single (Eugenio Suarez). Fortunately for the Astros, Yordan Alvarez threw out France at the plate on Suarez’s hit to end the inning, keeping it a 6-2 game. — Steve Schaeffer
Add a snapped streak to Justin Verlander’s miserable afternoon. He had not allowed a home run across his final 58 ⅔ regular-season innings — a span of 10 starts. J.P. Crawford hit a moonshot to right field and ended that rhythm. — Chandler Rome
3:56 p.m. — After Ty France’s RBI single put the Mariners up 4-0 in the second inning, Justin Verlander retired six consecutive batters, the last two on swinging strikeouts. J.P. Crawford snapped the streak with a two-out solo homer in the fourth inning. — Danielle Lerner
3:52 p.m. — The Astros dented into the Mariners’ lead, but left two runners on after Kyle Tucker struck out to end the third inning. It’s 4-2 Seattle as the fourth inning starts. — Greg Rajan 
3:50 p.m. — The noise is back.
Ear splitting. Loud, louder and even louder. Mixed with waving orange towels and screaming fans standing throughout a buzzing Minute Maid Park.
The playoffs just sound different. Since 2015, that instantly familiar sound has defined the Astros’ home stadium in October.
It returned again during the bottom of the third inning, after Yordan Alvarez lifted a two-run double into left field that pulled the Astros within 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.
A walk to Alex Bregman kept the white noise going, as Minute Maid Park tried to find a way to guide the Astros to at least two more runs before the Mariners returned to the plate. — Brian T. Smith
3:49 p.m. — Supposedly, section 104, row 3, seat 1 is the worst seat inside Minute Maid Park. Sylvia Ortega, the fan unfortunately sitting in that seat, agreed as she leaned over onto her husband’s shoulder in an effort to see around the left-field foul pole in the Crawford Boxes.
“At least replace the pole with a bar for us or something,” said a man, who didn’t want his name used, but was having fun making wisecracks in his seat in the row directly behind Sylvia. — Matt Young
3:47 p.m. — Yordan Alvarez’s two-run double brings his career postseason RBI count to 25. Only three current Astros — Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel — have more. — Danielle Lerner
3:44 p.m. — Yordan Alvarez hit that two-run double to the perfect part of the ballpark. Statcast gave it just a .140 expected batting average and he struck it just 96.2 mph off the bat. In a bigger yard, that’s probably a routine fly ball. Alvarez hitting it to the Crawford Boxes awoke the crowd. — Chandler Rome
3:42 p.m. — Minute Maid Park is rocking after Yordan Alvarez clubbed a two-out, two-run double off the top of the left-field wall to get the Astros within 4-2 in the third inning. — Greg Rajan
3:33 p.m. — Justin Verlander got a much-needed shutdown inning, retiring the Mariners in order in the third. It’s still 4-0 Seattle as the Astros come to bat. — Greg Rajan
3:31 p.m. — This season is only the Mariners’ fifth playoff appearance in their 46 seasons. In the opening game of a best-of-5 series, Seattle is 1-3 all-time, with the lone win coming in the 2000 ALDS against the White Sox in Chicago. — Greg Rajan
3:31 p.m. — While the Astros ran away with the AL West by 16 games over the Mariners, the bulk of that margin came early in the season. Since hitting bottom at 29-39, Seattle has gone 63-33 in its last 96 games, including its sweep of Toronto in the wild card round. In their last 96 games, the Astros are 65-31. Not much difference, which is a testament to an M’s team that has come out hot today. — Steve Schaeffer
3:23 p.m. — Justin Verlander is coming back out for the third inning — and it feels like a huge gamble by Dusty Baker and pitching coach Josh Miller. Verlander is clearly without his best stuff and Houston is already in a four-run hole. The team has three stretched out starters in its bullpen: Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia and José Urquidy. Verlander is still Verlander — a future Hall of Famer — but it’s worth wondering how long Baker can ride with him. — Chandler Rome
3:22 p.m. — Yuli Gurriel collected Houston’s first postseason hit with a two-out single in the second inning but was left stranded when Trey Mancini popped out. The Astros have sent seven batters to the plate through two innings. Mariners starter Logan Gilbert has retired six of them. — Danielle Lerner
3:20 p.m. — This marks the third time in 14 ALDS appearances that Justin Verlander has allowed as many as four runs. The first time came in 2011, when, as a Tiger, he allowed four in eight innings in a 5-4 win over the Yankees. The other time was in his previous ALDS start, on short rest in Game 4 against the Rays in 2019. Verlander allowed four runs in 3 ⅔ innings in that one, which the Astros lost 4-1. — Steve Schaeffer
3:17 p.m. — If any team has the pitching depth to overcome a short start, it is the Astros, but do they have the offensive firepower to dig out of a four-run hole against one of the American League’s best pitching staffs? — Chandler Rome
3:17 p.m. — Justin Verlander gave up hard contact — categorized as balls put in play with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph — to four of the six batters he faced in the second inning. The Astros helped him escape with an inning-ending double play, just as Bryan Abreu was beginning to throw in the Houston bullpen and Cristian Javier was moving around as well. — Danielle Lerner
3:16 p.m. — Blame it on all the Astros’ down time. Or just praise the hot Mariners.
Either way, Seattle leads 4-0 in the top of the second inning and the AL West’s second-best team isn’t backing down from the club with 106 regular-season wins.
Justin Verlander is in early trouble inside Minute Maid Park, which has already been silenced. The Mariners have four runs and six hits, while Verlander is approaching 50 pitches without recording six outs.
Astros manager Dusty Baker pointed out after the regular-season finale that his team had been winning but wasn’t hot. Seattle has been both since the playoffs started and the Mariners initially look like the more confident club inside the Astros’ ballpark. — Brian T. Smith
3:15 p.m. — This is an absolute nightmare for the Astros. Justin Verlander has thrown 49 pitches through two terrible innings. Bryan Abreu began to warm toward the end of the second. Verlander has surrendered six hits. — Chandler Rome
3:13 p.m. — A 6-4-3 double play grounder gets a reeling Justin Verlander out of the second inning. The Astros trail the Mariners 4-0 as they come to bat. — Greg Rajan
3:09 p.m. — The Astros are now down 4-0 after Ty France shot a single to center field to score Julio Rodriguez. Still one out in the second inning. — Greg Rajan
3:07 p.m. — That was an incredible piece of hitting by presumptive American League Rookie of the Year Julio Rodríguez, who swung through two 97 mph fastballs from Justin Verlander before lacing a third the opposite way into right field. A two-run double has Verlander officially on the ropes. — Chandler Rome
3:05 p.m. — A two-run double to right-center field by rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez puts the Mariners up 3-0 with one out in the second inning. Pitching coach Josh Miller is out to talk to Justin Verlander. — Greg Rajan 
3:01 p.m. — Consecutive singles by Adam Frazier and Jarred Kelenic to start the second inning have the Mariners in business again against Justin Verlander. A fly ball to deep center moves the runners to second and third. — Greg Rajan 
2:56 p.m. — A six-pitch, shutdown inning from Logan Gilbert is not what the Astros had in mind. Jeremy Peña got schooled during a three-pitch strikeout. Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve each got under weak pop flies. — Chandler Rome
2:52 p.m. — The Mariners got to Justin Verlander in the first inning, thanks in part to a walk drawn by leadoff batter Julio Rodriguez.
Verlander allowed just six runs in the first inning this season, less than half as many as he gave up in the first during his other full seasons with the Astros (13 in 2019 and 14 in 2018).
Verlander struggled to get his fastball over the plate and threw 24 pitches in the inning. — Jerome Solomon
2:51 p.m. — Justin Verlander avoided a total disaster, but his first inning does leave Houston in a one-run hole. Verlander threw 24 pitches and clearly had no feel for his four-seam fastball. Verlander threw 12 fastballs and did not receive a called strike on any of them. As aces tend to do, though, Verlander bore down and stranded runners at the corners. — Chandler Rome
2:48 p.m. — Cal Raleigh dumps a base hit down the right-field line and drives in the game’s first run before Justin Verlander can record his second out. The Mariners take a 1-0 lead after a leadoff walk and two singles. — Danielle Lerner
2:46 p.m. — Justin Verlander can’t quite find his fastball early on. Six of his first seven pitches were balls and he’s having to rely on landing his curveball and slider for called strikes. — Chandler Rome
2:43 p.m. — After a leadoff walk to Julio Rodriguez, Justin Verlander gives up a single to Ty France to right field to put runners on first and third with no outs in the inning. — Greg Rajan
2:38 p.m. — The Astros are 10-4 all-time in the first game of a best-of-5 playoff series. They’ve won eight straight dating back to 2004, when they were in the National League. — Greg Rajan
2:33 p.m. — Jose Altuve received the loudest cheers. Justin Verlander was a close second. But the appreciative pregame applause for Michael Brantley truly stood out.
Brantley’s 2022 season is done and the Astros will have to try and win another World Series without one of their most important veterans. But there’s a reason that Brantley’s name kept coming up on Tuesday, the day before Game 1 of the ALDS. And there’s a reason that Astros fans showered Brantley with applause and cheers on Wednesday, minutes before Verlander’s first pitch.
Brantley has been a pro’s pro since he first signed with the Astros. Four years later, Astros fans understand just how much Brantley means to the team, even when the five-time All-Star can’t take the field. — Brian T. Smith
2:32 p.m. — No surprise, but Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia and José Urquidy all walked to the bullpen with Houston’s relievers before Game 1. Garcia and Urquidy are sure-fire relief options, but Javier has an outside chance to start a game in this series if it extends to Sunday or Monday. — Chandler Rome
2:04 p.m. — Dusty Baker is routinely ridiculed for his batting orders, but the veteran skipper wrote a very logical Game 1 lineup. On paper, Jeremy Peña’s .289 on-base percentage doesn’t profile well in the two-hole, but Peña has told Baker on multiple occasions he feels most comfortable hitting second. Peña’s .278/.303./.487 slash line in September invites hope he’s found a groove after an otherwise grisly second half. Peña made an adjustment with his front foot that has paid dividends, too. Baker split his two lefthanded sluggers with righthanded hitting Alex Bregman, but Seattle is carrying just one lefty in its bullpen. The center-field decision — debated for much of the regular season — wasn’t much of one at all. Baker had to start Chas McCormick and hope he can provide some spark to an otherwise brutal bottom of the order. — Chandler Rome
1:47 p.m.: The Astros need a new assistant general manager. The Astros’ GM isn’t under contract for next season The Astros’ manager also doesn’t have a contract for 2023. Brian T. Smith takes a look at the  uncertainty at the top and how the team is handling it as postseason begins. — Brian T. Smith
1:09 p.m.: The Astros will get early starts for Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary in Seattle.) Saturday’s Game 3 is at 3:07 p.m. (Houston time) and a fourth game would be at 2:07 p.m. (Houston time). — Reid Laymance
12:41 p.m.: As far as Houston’s rotation for the division series goes, the decision to start Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 at T-Mobile Park is an interesting one. McCullers had a 1.50 ERA in five starts at Minute Maid Park this season, compared to a 3.57 ERA in three road starts. His career home/away splits also drastically favor when he pitches at home.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said he lined up southpaw Framber Valdez to start Game 2 in between righthanders Justin Verlander and McCullers in order to combat Seattle’s platoon-heavy lineup. “Instead of having their platoon guys play two games back-to-back, let them hopefully not get their timing as much back-to-back,” Baker said. “Also, the fact that Framber can go deep and JV can go deep. And so hopefully that works.”
McCullers has not pitched in Seattle this season. In his career at T-Mobile Park, he is 4-3 with a 2.66 ERA and .194 opponent batting average in 50⅔ innings pitched. — Danielle Lerner
12:36 p.m.: Fan fest was in full swing over two hours before first pitch, with hundreds of orange-clad Astros fans sipping Crawford Bocks, tossing beanbags, and taking pictures with face-painted stilt walkers.
Cameron Moreno, 27, pulled his son out of school early to make it to the fan fest. He watched as the 6-year-old son slid down a massive inflatable slide, then ran back up the ladder for what Moreno estimated was at least the 20th time already.
“We wanted to make sure he got the full experience,” Moreno said. “It’s his first playoff game.”  — Sam Kelly
12:06 p.m.: Phil Maton said he fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand after punching his locker following his final regular-season outing. Maton had surgery Monday and will miss the remainder of the postseason. He said he should be ready to pitch in spring training.. — Brian T. Smith and Chandler Rome

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11:38 a.m.: Reliever Phil Maton suffered an “off the field” injury, general manager James Click announced. Maton is scheduled to address reporters later this morning with more specifics. — Chandler Rome
11:35 a.m.: Houston started Chas McCormick in center field, Yordan Alvarez in left field and Kyle Tucker in right field for Game 1. Astros skipper Dusty Baker said he expects to manage playing time in left field and center field in the playoffs much the same as he did during the regular season, dictated by pitching matchups and ballpark among other factors. — Danielle  Lerner
11:26 a.m.: The Astros will start Framber Valdez in Game 2 on Thursday and Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 at T-Mobile Park on Saturday. — Chandler Rome
11:18 a.m.: At first glance, it is curious for the Astros to carry six starting pitchers for a five-game series with two off days. If necessary, Game 1 starter Justin Verlander will be on regular rest to start Game 4 and extra rest to pitch in a potential Game 5. Framber Valdez ate innings all season. Cristian Javier and Lance McCullers Jr. have cemented themselves as the two most reliable starters after Verlander and Valdez. Still, José Urquidy and Luis Garcia made the roster. Perhaps the Astros are planning for an extreme emergency — like the 15-inning marathon game the Guardians and Rays played in the wild-card round. Perhaps this portends a more true reliever role for Javier, who has a lot of postseason experience in the bullpen. Perhaps it comes down to this simple fact: Houston thought Garcia and Urquidy were better options than Phil Maton or Will Smith. — Chandler Rome
11:15 a.m.: Yordan Alvarez said pregame that he hadn’t yet discussed with Astros manager Dusty Baker how often he will be expected to play outfield during the postseason. Alvarez started 56 regular-season games in left field, the most of his career, an ability that became more necessary and valued to the Astros after Michael Brantley’s injury in June. Houston’s other main options for left fielders on the ALDS roster are Chas McCormick and Aledmys Díaz. — Danielle  Lerner
11:14 a.m.: The Mariners went with the same roster they did for the wild-card series. They will carry 12 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders, four outfielders and utility players Adam Frazier and Dylan Moore. Their pitching staff for this series includes Logan Gilbert, Luis Castillo, Diego Castillo, Matthew Boyd, Matt Festa, Matt Brash, George Kirby, Andres Munoz, Penn Murfee, Robbie Ray, Paul Sewald and Erik Swanson. — Reid Laymance
10:49 a.m.: Top pitching prospect Hunter Brown made the Astros’ American League Division Series pitching staff while veterans Phil Maton and Will Smith were excluded. Houston carried a 12-man pitching staff and 14 position players for the five-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Off days after the series’ first two games likely prompted the Astros to carry one fewer pitcher.
Brown’s inclusion arrived as no surprise after a stellar showing in September. Brown allowed two earned runs across his first seven major league appearances. The final five of them came out of the bullpen, portending his role on this playoff roster. Houston seemed to prioritize length in its roster decisions. The team carried starters José Urquidy and Luis Garcia for the series — and neither is lined up to make a start. Both will work as multi-inning relievers.
Mauricio Dubón, Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers all made the roster, as did rookie utlityman David Hensley. — Chandler Rome
10:41 a.m.: The Astros have set their ALDS roster, which includes 12 pitchers, including Hunter  Brown. The 12 pitchers is one below the minimum. Phil Maton and Will Smith are not included. — Reid Laymance.
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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.
Jerome grew up in downtown Acres Homes, Texas. He is a proud graduate of Mabel B. Wesley Elementary and was a basketball team captain at Waltrip High School, where he helped the Mighty Rams to a near-.500 record.
A math genius and engineering major in college, he’s still working on this writing thing. He says that the three years he spent as an F.M. Black Panther probably played a more significant a role in the man he would become than the time he spent in college.
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]
Sam González Kelly is a reporter for the Houston Chronicle.
You can reach Sam at [email protected]
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.
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.

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