Houston gets a huge win in LA

Astros rally late to beat the Dodgers in pivotal game

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a disappointing series in Oakland where they went 1-4, the Astros had a day off on Friday before starting a quick two-game series with arguably the best team in the MLB right now, the Dodgers, in Los Angeles. Here is a recap of the first game:

Final Score: Astros 7, Dodgers 5.

Record: 23-23, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Josh James (1-0, 9.95 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Kenley Jansen (3-1, 3.93 ERA).

Astros strike first, then Dodgers go to work on Valdez

The Astros were able to get a run across in the first, which is one thing they have done a decent job with this season. George Springer started the game with a double, moved to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel, giving Houston the quick 1-0 lead.

After Framber Valdez made quick work of the top of the Dodgers' order in the bottom of the first, the bottom of their order would knock him around in the second. After a one-out single, Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, which became 3-1 on the next batter as Enrique Hernandez would hit a solo home run.

Valdez would allow two more runs over his five innings, while he would get no more run support behind him; one on a sac fly to turn a one-out triple into a run in the third, then an RBI-single in the fifth, which came after a walk and wild pitch. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 82 P.

Houston's bullpen holds the Dodgers at bay

After Valdez's five innings, Humberto Castellanos would come in as the first reliever for Houston, erasing a one-out double and two-out single for a scoreless inning. Cionel Perez was next for the bottom of the seventh and would face three batters, getting two outs and allowing a single, before Josh James would come in to finish the inning via a caught stealing.

Houston would get one run closer in the top of the eighth, with Alex Bregman following a leadoff single by George Springer by beating a potential double play to reach on a fielder's choice, moving to third on a single by Michael Brantley, then scoring on a groundout by Yuli Gurriel, making it 5-2.

Astros rally in the ninth to steal the win

The Astros would get back-to-back singles to start the ninth, against the Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen, before both would score on a two-RBI double by Josh Reddick to make it a 5-4 game, with Reddick representing the tying run on second. Reddick would move to third on a single by Martin Maldonado, then scored on a game-tying RBI-single by George Springer, making it 5-5.

Alex Bregman would come up next and provided Houston their first lead since the beginning of the game, getting an RBI-single to make it 6-5. Yuli Gurriel would follow later with a sac fly, giving the Astros an additional insurance run at 7-5. Ryan Pressly would hold on to those two runs, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it along with a two-out double to give Houston the big win.

Up Next: The closing game of this quick two-game set is Sunday at 7:00 PM on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.27 ERA) will start for the Astros against the team he played for in 2013-2015, while the Dodgers' starter is TBD.

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Is the experiment already over? Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

Now that the Rockets' season is over, it is time for Rockets GM Daryl Morey to reevaluate the roster. Besides the coaching vacancy, the Rockets need to make moves during the offseason, so they can compete for a championship.

When the Rockets got Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul and two first round draft picks last summer, it was reasonable trade. As the Rockets took a second-round exit versus the Lakers, eyebrows have risen. Westbrook struggled inside the bubble during the playoffs after missing some time because of a quad injury. He had a playoff low by averaging 18 points per game, shooting 24 percent from three, and only making 53 percent at the free throw line.

Westbrook was not as effective when James Harden was doubled. There were countless times when the Lakers left Westbrook wide open from the perimeter. In the +/- category, Westbrook made the Rocket 4.6 points worse in the playoffs. Westbrook's net rating was six points worse, and he averaged four turnovers a game. The horrifying part is the Rockets owe Westbrook $133 million over the next three seasons.

Russell Westbrook left wide open for a 3-pointer | Lakers vs Rockets youtu.be


After doing some research, Westbrook is tradable for the Rockets so it won't be a surprise if a deal happens over the offseason. Greg Swartz from Bleacher Report came up with a great trade idea for the Rockets where they would get a lot in return. If the Rockets trade Westbrook and Robert Covington to the Indiana Pacers, they could possibly get PG Malcolm Brogdon, C Myles Turner, F Doug McDermott, G/F Jeremy Lamb, and a 2021 first-round pick (lottery-protected). The Rockets would get shooting, blocks, rebounds, and another player to build around for the future.

I believe it is better to send Westbrook off than Eric Gordon because the Rockets would get more in return. If the Rockets trade Gordon and Covington, they could possibly get Gordon Hayward from the Celtics. But another injury prone player would not help the Rockets win a championship or make the Western Conference Finals.

Hopefully, Rockets GM Daryl Morey makes the right decision when it comes to evaluating trade options for the Rockets. The team needs a culture change for next season.

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