“Ryan Presley is the second-best postseason reliever of all time.”

Houston Astros bullpen reliever Presley was the team’s fourth pitcher after Brian Abreu in Game 5 of the 2023 Major League Baseball American League Championship Series (ALCS) against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, U.S., on June 21 (ET), tossing 2.2 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts and no walks.

Presley took the mound at an unexpected time. Texas’ Adolis Garcia came to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning with the team trailing 2-4. Abreu threw Garcia a fastball in the first inning, but it looked like he was trying to hit it. That’s because in the bottom of the sixth inning, on a three-run home run, Garcia threw his bat away and walked away slowly.

Eventually, the bench was cleared. Garcia collided with Houston catcher Martin Maldonado, and the umpire ejected three people: Abreu for throwing the threatening pitch, Garcia, the batter, and Houston manager Dusty Baker. In an unusual move, Presley was rushed to the mound with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth.

But Presley was in no trouble at all. He induced a grounder to first baseman Leodie Taveras to get the first out, then retired the next two batters, Josh Young and Nate Lowe, on consecutive grounders to end the threat.

Presley stayed on the mound until the top of the ninth, when Jose Altuve hit a walk-off triple to cut the lead to 5-4. The game would not be easy. Back-to-back singles to Mitch Garber and Jonah Heim put runners on first and second with no outs. In a situation where he could have easily given up a game-winning home run or a hit, Presley showed great situational awareness.

He got Marcus Semien on a line drive to shortstop and Corey Seager on a fly ball to center field. Only one out remained for the series lead. He dropped a five-pitch low curveball on a 2B-2S play against the next batter, Ivan Carter, and induced a wild swing to end the game with a strikeout. 굿모닝토토 도메인

Houston won the game 5-4 behind Presley’s multi-inning performance, improving to 3-2 in the ALCS and just one win away from advancing to the World Series. It was the third postseason save of his career.

Since joining Houston from the Minnesota Twins in 2018, Presley has served as the team’s closer for four seasons. This season, he’s been the back door again with 31 regular-season saves. He has a postseason ERA of zero since 2021 and has appeared in five postseason games this season, going 1-0 with a save in six innings pitched. His performance has been recognized locally.