Astros drop series finale to the Cubs

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 2-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Despite injuries starting to pile up for the Astros, they still had the chance for a series sweep of the Cubs with a victory on Wednesday night. Here is a recap of the series finale:

Final Score: Cubs 2, Astros 1.

Record: 37-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.09 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Wade Miley (5-3, 3.25 ERA).

1) Miley allows two runs in another solid start 

Wade Miley looked to be in trouble early in the game after allowing a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber in the very first at-bat of the game then another to Kris Bryant in the top of the third to put the Cubs up 2-0 early. However, he'd rebound from those early runs and lock in over the rest of his start, completing seven strong innings, including a season-high in strikeouts and innings pitched — Miley's final line: 7 IP, 6H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

Chris Devenksi took over in the eighth and despite loading the bases with a single and two walks was able to get a strikeout to leave them all stranded. Will Harris had the ninth and would give the offense a chance for a walk-off by keeping it a one-run game after a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Unfortunately, a walk-off would not come to fruition.

2) One run not enough

The Astros were able to trim the lead to one run after putting runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff double by Alex Bregman and single by Michael Brantley. They'd score the run on a one-out sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick but would get stopped there as the Cubs maintained the lead at 2-1.

They'd go scoreless the rest of the way, dropping the series finale despite taking the series with the two wins on Monday and Tuesday.

Up Next: The Astros will get a day off tomorrow as they travel to Oakland for a three-game series over the weekend. The first game of the series will get started at 9:07 PM on Friday and will feature Brad Peacock (5-2, 3.19 ERA) on the mound for Houston going against former-Astro Mike Fiers (4-3, 5.05 ERA) for the A's.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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