Astros crush Angels to win in Mexico

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 14-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After dropping three of four in Minnesota against the Twins to start the week, Houston traveled to Mexico for a two-game international series against the Angels in Monterrey. Here's a recap of the series opener from Saturday night and three hits from the game:

Final Score: Astros 14, Angels 2

Record: 19-14, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (2-2, 3.20 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Trevor Cahill (1-3, 6.95 ERA)

1) Scoring early and often

Alex Bregman started the game on the right foot for Houston, hitting an opposite-field solo home run to start the scoring in the top of the first to grab a 1-0 lead. They would continue to score in each of the first six innings of the game, getting a sacrifice fly from Tyler White, two-run home run from George Springer, two runs from Yuli Gurriel on a solo home run and RBI-triple, and four big runs off the bat of Michael Brantley, two on a home run in the third then two more on a two-RBI double to give Houston a 10-2 lead after six innings.

They'd go scoreless in the seventh, then picked right back up in the eighth on a sac fly from Springer then Bregman's second homer of the night, this time a three-run homer to extend the lead to twelve runs at 14-2.

2) Quality start for Miley 

With the game in Monterrey, a higher elevation town with a warm/humid climate, a high run total was expected in this matchup. However, it was not expected to be so one-sided, and Wade Miley did a great job accounting for that on the mound. Miley allowed just two runs over his six innings of work, one being Albert Pujols' usual toll against Houston with a solo home run. Overall he allowed the two runs on six hits to go along with two walks and two strikeouts. Miley did have a scary moment in the game when a ball off the bat of Mike Trout was lined right at him, but it hit in an opportune spot on his shoulder, avoiding any significant damage.

3) Bullpen wraps things up

With Miley done after six two-run innings, the Astros went to their bullpen to finish off the lopsided game. Hector Rondon worked around a couple of walks in the bottom of the seventh to throw a scoreless inning, then Ryan Pressly extended his phenomenal streak of consecutive scoreless innings by working around a couple of singles in the eighth. Josh James took over in the ninth and closed out the twelve-run win.

Up Next: Weather permitting, Houston and Los Angeles will wrap up this quick two-game series in Monterrey tomorrow at 3:00 PM. Justin Verlander (4-1, 2.45 ERA) will get the start for Houston and will go up against Matt Harvey (1-2, 6.54 ERA) for the Angels.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans out-Patriot the Patriots

Texans take down the Pats. Photo by Getty Images.

Every dog has its day. A broken clock is right two times a day. All the clichés about it being better to be lucky than good can apply here with the Texans 27-20 win over the Patriots. In a matchup that broke a record for the oldest combined age for opposing head coaches, 141 years old, Romeo Crennel beat his former boss Bill Belichick. There were other narratives at work here, as well as a few things (good and awful) that the coaching staff did.

First thing I saw that I liked was the spread and no-huddle on offense. If you've been following this series of articles, you know I've been on this train quite a while now. This allows Deshaun Watson to find the matchup he likes, exposes the defense because they can't sub, takes advantage of Texans' speed at receiver, and creates a tempo most defenses can't keep up with. Not to mention the spread is the offense Watson operated in at Clemson. 28/37 for 344 yards and two touchdowns of production from Watson was enough for me to say they need to have this as their M.O. moving forward.

Tim Kelly called a great game. He used the short, quick pass game in lieu of the run game. This also helped since Laremy Tunsil was out and Roderick Johnson had to play at left tackle. This offensive line is not very good at run blocking. Hence, why Watson was again the team's leading rusher with only 36 yards. Almost all of those were on scrambles. By going spread and no-huddle, Watson can take advantage of man and zone coverages to extend plays or scramble because most teams won't spy him. Even when they do, he makes them look silly.

Not everything was on the up and up. The defense continued to look like booty juice. Cam Newton threw for 365 yards and Damiere FREAKIN Byrd torched them for 132 of those yards! When I heard the quote from Crennel that defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver is getting the most out of his guys, I found it laughable. To double down on that, Weaver was quoted as saying, "This narrative that's being painted like my guys aren't disciplined and running around blocks, quite frankly and to put it bluntly, is bull---t!" Sorry guys, but you're both wrong. This defense can't fight its way out of a wet paper bag if you gave them knives. The worst part about it is that the offense's best chance at success sets the defense up for failure. Their hurry up scheme leaves little time for this porous defense to catch its wind. If they could get some turnovers or just off the damn field and get stops, it would help the offense.

With six games left, their three games outside the AFC South (Bengals, Lions, Bears) are all winnable. The two matchups against the Colts and the season finale against the Titans will prove to be their biggest tests. However, this is the same team that has four one possession losses. 3-7 could look a lot different if the offense stepped up against the Browns, or the defense made stops against the Steelers, Vikings, or Titans. Let's hope they can build off this win and salvage whatever they can of this season.

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