Houston is now 4-1

Angels rally late, hand Astros first loss of 2021

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Starting the day as one of the last few undefeated teams in the league, the Astros entered this short two-game series with the Angels in Anaheim looking to translate their success against the A's. This game would be arguably their toughest so far on paper, with some uncertainty about their current fifth starter Luis Garcia on the mound and going up against Los Angels, who capped off a 3-1 series win against the White sox with a walk-off victory on Sunday night.

It would live up to the expected difficulty, with the Astros dropping their first game of the early season as the Angels would put together an eighth-inning rally to put both teams at 4-1.

Final Score: Angels 7, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 4-1, tied for first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Tony Watson (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Joe Smith (0-1)

Houston keeps to their scoring ways early

Houston jumped out to an immediate lead to keep their scoring ways from Oakland alive. The top of the order was aggressive against Jose Quintana, getting three-straight singles, the third an RBI-single by Alex Bregman to start the scoring. Carlos Correa brought in another on a two-out RBI before a wild pitch brought in a third to put the Astros in front 3-0 before the Angels could get to the plate.



They put together another threat in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back walks to start the inning, followed two batters later by a one-out RBI-single by Jose Altuve to make it 4-0. They went on to load the bases but would strand all three runners, leaving the door open for Los Angeles.

Angels crack Garcia their second time through the order

Luis Garcia looked impressive through the first three innings, keeping the Angels hitless and allowing just two baserunners via walks. In the bottom of the fourth, Mike Trout started a rally by depositing a hanging changeup 417 feet away to get Los Angeles on the board.



Three of the following four batters would single, bringing in another run, making it a 4-2 game. Garcia then loaded the bases with a one-out walk, prompting a pitching change by Dusty Baker to bring in Ryne Stanek to try and stop the bleeding. Stanek would handle the pressure perfectly, sitting down the next two batters to leave the bases loaded. Garcia's final line: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 68 P.

Angels rally in the eighth, hand Astros their first loss

Brooks Raley took over on the mound in the bottom of the fifth, not his prettiest inning, as he would allow a run to come in on two hits and a walk to make it a one-run game. Houston's offense manufactured a run of their own in the top of the sixth, with Martin Maldonado leading off with a walk, moving to second on a single by Alex Bregman, then hustling in to score on an RBI-single by Yordan Alvarez.

Bryan Abreu gave his team two scoreless innings, allowing only a one-out single in the seventh while retiring the other six batters he faced to maintain the two-run lead. Joe Smith entered as the setup-man in the bottom of the eighth but would not record an out, giving up two singles and hitting a pinch-hitting Shohei Ohtani to load the bases.

Blake Taylor entered to try and get out of the jam but instead would watch the Angels take their first lead of the night, putting together a four-run inning to jump in front 7-5. Despite a one-out solo home run by Kyle Tucker to make it a one-run game, Houston would come up short in the top of the ninth, earning their first loss of the season and moving down into a tie with the now 4-1 Angels for first place in the division.

Up Next: Tuesday's finale of this short two-game series will be an early start at 3:07 PM. Zack Greinke (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start of the year, while Griffin Canning (2-3, 3.99 ERA in 2020) will make his first start of the season.

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The Rockets selected Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.

The city of Houston can finally rejoice as Jalen Green was selected as the number two pick by the Rockets at the 2021 NBA Draft. It was already suspected that the Rockets would draft Green from past reports. Shams Charania of The Athletic already reported that the Rockets narrowed their decision down to Green.

Green is an explosive shooting guard that can get in-and-out amongst the perimeter and paint. With the G-League Ignite, he averaged 17.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is an excellent free throw shooter at 82.9 percent. Like James Harden, he is incredibly good at getting to the free throw line. Green has a good trigger from three by shooting 36.5 percent on 5.7 attempts a game. His mature status since high school has prepared him for the NBA.

"His down-hill playmaking is really hard to guard", as Joey Fucca, his ex-coach told TDS. "If he says he's going to get to the rim, good luck. He is very good at getting to the free throw line, he is also very explosive to finish above the rim. When his three ball is on, you're just going to have a long night. I wouldn't be excited to guard him."

Green has blistering speed with outstanding handles to blow by his defenders and score. Spectators have compared Green to a younger Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine, which are superstar players. He is a particularly good midrange shooter underneath the perimeter, as he shot 35 percent on a small quantity of attempts in a shorter season.

"Jalen is a uniquely blessed guy. He's a transcendent athlete," as Rockets GM Rafael Stone said. "He can handle the ball, and he can shoot. Normally, people that athletic aren't as skilled. We think that combination of tools makes him an extraordinarily exciting prospect."

During his press conference on Thursday night, Green emphasized the achievements he wants to accomplish with the Rockets. Green even discussed his desire of being a better defender, as he wants to continue to get better. He has a great wingspan and lateral movement to stay with opposing players on defense and be disruptive in the passing lanes.

"They're going to say it's a great choice," Green said. "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract. We're doing it big."

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. I think I'm going to bring that dominant mentality, that defensive mindset…They already got a lot of star players"

As the draft continued, the Rockets sent future draft picks from the Wizards to land the 16th pick in the draft, which was 6'10 Alperen Sengun from Turkey. The 16th pick did belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder until Rafael Stone executed an interesting deal with Sam Presti.

"We did not think he would fall to us at 23, so we were really aggressive to try and move up all throughout the first round to acquire him," as Stone said.

Sengun's abilities on the court revolve around his post ups and skillful passing. He even maintains good feet along the baseline. In his press conference, he mentioned his passing skills can become better. There are clips of him looking impressive on shovel passes, passing the ball behind his back, and finding the cutting man towards the basket. Sengun looked good in double teams by showing he can still find the open man with his back turned.

While playing in the Turkish Super League, Sengun was an MVP at 18-years-old, averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He could be another huge figure next to Christian Wood on the court, and a safety blanket for the Rockets if they cannot bring back Kelly Olynyk.

Usman Garbua is similar to former Rocket Luc Mbah a Moute. He is 6'8 with a tremendous wingspan at 7'3 and can guard anyone on the court, which is 1-5. Garbua was seen guarding Kevin Durant in the Team USA vs. Spain matchup and had interesting battles. The Rockets will get a ton of energy out of the 19-year-old player. He knows how to run the floor in transition, so he can finish around the rim. As I see it, he could be on a defensive first team in the future as he matures more. Garbua will become a defensive nightmare against opposing players.

"I think he's the best defender in the world outside of the NBA, and he's just 19 years old," Stone said. "I think he potentially could be really, really impactful on that side of the ball."

As the Rockets made their last selection, they selected Green's AAU buddy, Josh Christopher from Arizona State. He impressed a ton of scouts during his draft workouts and scrimmage against other prospects. Christopher had a double-double during his third scrimmage, which was 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is a very shifty guard with a ferocious step back.

While playing with the Sun Devils, he averaged 14.3 points per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Just like Green, he loved the midrange opportunities, as he shot 49.6 percent underneath the perimeter. He is another shifty big body the Rockets will have in their back court at 6'5. Christopher is very good at rebounding and playing defense. Stone loves watching him in defensive one-on-one situations. Christopher has Sixth Man of the Year written all over him because of his stocky body type and upside.

Hopefully, the Rockets have an exciting summer league and training camp along with their season.

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