Astros unable to rebound from Gerrit Cole's horrible start

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: Rangers 9, Astros 4

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After taking the series opener on Friday night, the Astros looked to take game two from the Rangers on Saturday night to lock up another series win. Here's a quick rundown of the game:

Final Score: Rangers 9, Astros 4

Record: 13-7, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Shawn Kelley (3-0).

Losing pitcher: Gerrit Cole (1-3).

Stars of the game: In an otherwise disappointing game, Max Stassi and George Springer were able to provide some highlights, both hitting two-run home runs to try and keep Houston in the game.

Notes: The Rangers got on the board first on Saturday night, getting a huge inning off of Gerrit Cole who had a horrible start to his night, allowing five runs, one of which was unearned, on four hits and two walks which paired with some sloppy defense handed Texas a quick 5-0 lead. They wouldn't let up on Cole there, extending the lead to 6-0 on a solo home run in the bottom of the third. Houston finally broke through with a good inning of their own, getting a two-run home run from Max Stassi in the top of the fifth to trim the lead to 6-2. The Rangers extended it right back, though, getting another run off of Cole in the bottom of the fifth, making it 7-2 before Houston would finally dip into their bullpen, bringing in Chris Devenski. Devenski would also fall victim to the Rangers, allowing a two-RBI triple to make it 9-2 and bring Cole's earned run total to eight on the night, making it the worst start of his major league career. George Springer got Houston back within five runs with a two-run home run to straight center in the top of the seventh, making it 9-4. That's as close as the Astros would get, though, as that score would go final to even the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: Houston will wrap up this series against the Rangers tomorrow afternoon with first pitch of the rubber-match game at 2:05 PM. Collin McHugh (3-1, 1.96 ERA) will start for the Astros and will go up against Shelby Miller (0-1, 9.00 ERA) for the Rangers.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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How about the Texans land Sean Payton and keep their 1st round picks this year? Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

Former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton caught the attention of a lot of Houston Texans fans on Monday with comments he made on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

Payton said he is absolutely considering the Texans’ gig citing the team’s draft capital, the AFC South and casual relationships with owner Cal McNair and general manager Nick Caserio as reasons for it, which cast a different light on the Houston job.

Whether Payton and the Texans ultimately wind up together, only time will tell, but if both sides were to agree that they are the right fit for each other, what would it take to land Payton in Houston?

Payton’s situation is a bit unique in that the Saints still hold his contractual rights because he signed a five-year extension with the team in 2019 before he retired in 2022. In order for the Texans, or any other team, to land Payton, they will likely have to give up a significant draft choice. Payton alluded to it during his conversation on The Herd.

New Orleans is likely looking for a mid-to-late first-round pick. A hefty price to pay in the NFL, but is there a way for the Texans to get a trade to work if they were to become convinced he is the right man for the job?

Like Payton said, Houston has put itself in a position where it owns a lot of draft picks, and a good portion of them come from the Cleveland Browns courtesy of the Deshaun Watson deal.

For 2023, the Texans have two first-round picks — the No. 2 overall pick and No. 12 from Cleveland. In 2024, Houston has two first-round picks as well, its own and that of the Cleveland Browns.

Looking at other teams across the league that are also reportedly interested in Payton, the Texans clearly have the edge over them. The Denver Broncos have only one first-round draft pick in this year’s draft, and it comes from the San Francisco 49ers, meaning it will be a late draft pick.

The Arizona Cardinals have the third overall pick in 2023. It's their only first-round draft pick this season. It would not make sense for them to part ways with that pick. The Carolina Panthers have the ninth overall pick in the 2023 draft. Similar to Arizona, it's their only pick in the first round and it would not make sense for them to part ways with it for Payton.

The Los Angeles Chargers are an intriguing team following the collapse in the Wild Card round last weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

LA has the 21st overall pick in the 2023 draft. With Justin Herbert and various weapons across both sides of the ball, the Chargers are one team that could afford to trade its first-round pick in exchange for a head coach that could take them over the top. At the moment, it does seem like Brandon Staley will stay for at least one more season.

Lastly, come the Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Mike McCarthy’s seat cooled off tremendously following the team’s stellar performance against Tampa Bay in the Wild Card, but an abysmal performance against San Francisco this weekend could heat it up in a heartbeat.

The Cowboys will have a late first-round draft pick regardless of how they perform against the 49ers. No price will be too big to pay for Jerry Jones if he believes Payton is the final piece to a championship puzzle.

When it comes down to the Texans, outside of the Chargers and Cowboys, whom both appear to be long shots for Payton, there is no incentive to trade a first-round pick this year for Payton if both sides agree to work together.

For a team that has holes across various positions, trading away the No. 12 pick is not a wise move, even if it does land the most qualified candidate on the market. Houston could offer next year’s Cleveland first-round pick, which with a full year of Watson will likely be a later first-round pick.

Could adding a fourth-round pick this season on top of next year’s first be enough for the Saints? The thing about this scenario, which favors the Texans, is that in the event both sides agree they are the right fit for each other, there is not really much leverage New Orleans can use to increase the price.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis wouldn’t send Payton, the 15-year leader of the organization, to a team he does not want to coach for just because they are offering a greater draft pick, or a first-round selection this year.

At the end of the day, it comes down to Payton and what he wants. If Houston is his landing spot, then there is a good chance the Texans could get him for a lesser price than this year’s 12th overall pick.

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