The Astros win their seventh game in a row

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 11-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros started this road trip with a bang in an 8-1 win, their sixth in a row. They went for lucky number 7 tonight. Here's a recap of the win and a three key points

Final Score: Astros 11, Tigers 4

Record: 28-15, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (4-2, 3.51 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Ryan Carpenter (0-2, 13.00 ERA)


1. The Astros Offense Got to Work Early... and Never Stopped

The Astros bats have been in a tear since the Royals series early last week. After putting up eight runs yesterday, the offense got to work early after a three run HR in from Correa to dead centerfield. Brantley scored two and Bregman scored on a throwing error in the second. Aledmys Diaz hit a solo shot on back to back nights in the third. Gurriel scored Correa with a single in the fourth. George Springer hit the first inside the park HR of his career in the fifth. Diaz scored Brantley with an RBI single in the sixth. It was not until the seventh that the offense failed to score a run. Diaz, again, got himself an RBI with a sacrifice fly to score Tony Kemp. The Tigers did not get a 1-2-3 inning until the ninth.


2. George Springer: The Living Highlight Reel

Whether it's with the bat or on the field, Springer is finding himself in the daily highlight reels. Last night, he made two defensive plays. Tonight, an inside the park home run, the first for the Astros since Lance Berkman in 2002. He is making an impact every game, one way or another.


3. McHugh Tries to Find his Role in the Bullpen

Collin McHugh lost his position in the rotation late last week. He made his first appearance out of the pen on Sunday. McHugh got two quick outs in the seventh before striking out Brandon Dixon to end the inning. McHugh was nasty retiring Castellanos, Hicks and Rodriguez via the strike out in the eight to end his outing with four strike outs in a row. It was a positive outing for a guy who needed one.


Up Next: Another 6:10 PM start time tomorrow night for the third game of the series . Justin Verlander (6-1, 2.51 ERA) returns to his old stomping grounds for the series finale. The Tigers have not announced who will start tomorrow's game.

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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