Astros' winning streak extended to ten games

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 7-3 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a win under their belt from the night before, the Astros looked to secure the series win with a victory on Saturday night. Here are the quick facts and four hits from the game:

Final Score: Astros 7, Red Sox 3

Record: 31-15, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (1-0, 4.56 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Hector Velazquez (1-3, 5.53 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

The Astros came out firing starting with leadoff man George Springer drilling a triple to start the game. He'd come around to score on an RBI-double by Michael Brantley to start a five-run first inning with RBIs from Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel, along with a two-RBI double by Tyler White, putting Houston ahead 5-0 and knocking Hector Velazquez out of the game before Boston could even come to the plate.

2) Rougher start for Martin

After a terrific debut last week by Corbin Martin, he had a tougher matchup in the Red Sox and in the hostile environment of Boston. He'd watch one run come across in the bottom of the first after walking the bases loaded on three consecutive two-out walks then a passed ball by Max Stassi scored the run to make it 5-1. After a quick second inning, Martin allowed a walk then RBI-double in the third, making it a 6-2 game at the time.

He allowed a solo home run just around Pesky's Pole in the bottom of the fourth, then after back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the fifth had his night come to an end. Josh James was able to come in and erase those runners, putting Martin's final line at 4 innings pitched, 3 runs (2 earned), 4 walks, and 0 strikeouts.

3) Staying out in front

After the big five-run first inning, the Astros made sure to maintain a multiple-run lead with Boston taking some runs back. In the second, Houston was able to get runners on the corners with one out, setting up an RBI sac fly by Carlos Correa to make it 6-1. Josh Reddick led off the fifth with a solo home run, putting the lead back to four runs at 7-3, a score that would hold until the end.

4) Five strong innings from the bullpen

As mentioned, Josh James came in to get all three outs in the fifth after Martin was unable to get through it. James would go on to eat up three big innings, all scoreless, maintaining the four-run lead and saving some other bullpen arms from having to be used. Will Harris entered the game to pitch the eighth and retired the Red Sox in order to send the game to the ninth. In the ninth, Roberto Osuna took over in a non-save situation and was able to finish off the win.

Up Next: Houston and Boston will wrap up this series tomorrow with the first pitch of the game at 12:05 PM. The Astros will send Wade Miley (4-2, 3.51 ERA) to the mound to try and complete the sweep, but to do so he'll have to beat out Boston's ace Chris Sale (1-5, 4.24 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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It's easy to blame Bill O'Brien for the Texans woes. He is a lousy GM, a below average play caller and his offense is boring, predictable and ineffective. Not once has he had a top 10 offense in the league. So he does not get a pass here.

But Deshaun Watson shouldn't, either.

Last year, Watson was in the MVP conversation entering the game in Baltimore. Four of the nine games he played before that, Watson had an ESPN Total QBR over 85, which is playing at an elite level.

Since that 41-7 debacle (where his QBR was 13.6), Watson has played 10 games. He has topped 85 just once (and barely - 85.6) in the win over the Patriots. While QBR is not the be all end all, it shows a trend. And before you blame the talent around him or the ridiculously stupid DeAndre Hopkins trade, eight of those games were with Hopkins in the lineup.

Over his last 10 games, Patrick Mahomes has done it five times (and just missed last week at 84.7). Lamar Jackson has done it six times in his last 10. Russell Wilson is six for his last 10. Dak Prescott? Three. Aaron Rodgers? Three. Ryan Tannehill? Three. Josh Allen? Two. Lamar Jackson led the league last year with an 83 for the season. Watson was sixth at 71.3. To be a top 10 quarterback, you had to average 64.1. In two games this season, Watson sits 20th, about where he was over the last six regular season games and two playoff games last year.

In essence, Deshaun Watson - who often gets compared to those players - is not on their level. Yes, O'Brien has a lot to do with it, but it's also time to start looking at Watson's performance and regression as an NFL quarterback.

In 2018, Watson had four such games. In 2017, four in six starts. And now ONE since that Baltimore game. In fact, he has topped 80 just once in that stretch, and 60 just three times.

What it tells us is Watson has been an average quarterback over his last 10 starts. The Texans invested heavily in an offensive line to protect him. They have added depth at WR but a net loss without Hopkins. Elite quarterbacks turn in performances like that roughly half the time. Getting more consistent has always been an issue for Watson. But since that Baltimore game, he has not been close. And he is being paid to be elite.

In the end, O'Brien is still the main culprit. He has hand picked all the players around Watson, he designed the offense, and he controls everything.

But it's time to quit giving Watson a pass. Right now, he is part of the problem.

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