Astros rally late to win in primetime

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the big walk-off win on Saturday, the Astros turned to Sunday Night Baseball to try and get the series split and take over sole possession of first place in the AL West with a win. Here are the quick facts then three hits from the game:

Final Score: Astros 4, Indians 1

Record: 17-11, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (1-1).

Losing pitcher: Carlos Carrasco (2-3).

1) Decent game for Miley

Wade Miley cruised through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners on one walk and one single. Cleveland did much better against him the second and third times through the lineup, though, getting a solo home run in the fourth then putting pressure on him the rest of his night. Miley finished an out shy of a quality start, finishing five and two-thirds during which he allowed just the one run on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.

2) Astros break through against Carrasco in the seventh

After Carlos Carrasco had dominated the lineup through the first six innings, holding them to just one hit, Houston finally got ahold of him for a huge seventh inning. Michael Brantley started things with a one-out single, then scored on an RBI-double from Yuli Gurriel to tie the game 1-1. Carrasco issued and intentional walk to Josh Reddick to bring up Robinson Chirinos, who greeted him with a first-pitch three-run home run to put the Astros ahead 4-1.

3) Bullpen stands strong to notch the save

With Miley's night done early with two outs in the sixth, it was up to the bullpen to keep the game close and then eventually get the save, and they'd have to do it without Roberto Osuna who pitched two innings in Saturday's extra-inning game. Chris Devenski came in for the final out of the sixth, then Framber Valdez took over with two great scoreless innings of relief in the seventh and eighth. That set up Ryan Pressly who took the mound for the ninth and was able to get the save to finish off the come-from-behind win.

Up Next: Houston will fly out to Minnesota tonight to start a four-game set with the Twins starting tomorrow. The four games will complete the season series with the Twins since these teams just played three games in Houston this past week. First pitch of Monday night's game will be 6:40 PM and will feature Justin Verlander (4-0, 2.61 ERA) on the mound for Houston opposite of Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 4.37 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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