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How the 2015 Houston Astros survived into the postseason

Strong performances from young players and bold moves at the trade deadline propelled the Astros to their first postseason berth since 2005.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 86 games and seeing the Los Angeles Angels lose to the Texas Rangers on the final day of the season, the Houston Astros secured the second Wild Card berth in the American League. Not projected to be a contender, as many viewed them as still rebuilding, the Astros got key contributions from young players and made a pair of big trade deadline deals to propel them into October. Here is a look at the highlights from Houston's 2015 season:

Dallas Keuchel becomes an ace

After a strong showing in 2014, Dallas Keuchel emerged as one of the best pitchers in the American League and a serious Cy Young contender in 2015. In a legaue-high 232 innings, Keuchel had a 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 51 walks and a career-high 216 strikeouts. The 27-year-old southpaw will be on the mound when the Astros take on the Yankees in the Wild Card game on Tuesday.

Carlos Correa arrives in June

On June 8, Houston promoted 20-year-old shortstop and top prospect Carlos Correa to the big leagues and the top overall pick in 2012 started to live up to the hype. In 99 games with the Astros, Correa hit .279/.345/.512 with 22 home runs and a team-high 133 wRC+. He also accumulated 3.4 fWAR and is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year honors.

Major additions at the trade deadline

Firmly in contention as the trade deadline approached, the Astros made a pair of significant moves in late July. Houston made one of the first big July deals, acquiring pitcher Scott Kazmir from Oakland for a pair of prospects. A week later, Houston acquired pitcher Mike Fiers and outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Brewers for a package of four players that included outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. Of the three, Fiers perhaps had the biggest impact down the stretch, posting a 3.32 ERA in nine starts, including a no-hitter on August 21.