Astros bully the Rangers again

Jose Siri, Astros unload on Rangers in 15-1 win in Arlington

Jose Siri's tremendous 5 RBI night at the plate was part of a barrage of runs by the Astros against the Rangers Monday night. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
After taking two of three to get a series win over the Angels at home on Sunday, the Astros picked up a four-game series with the Rangers in Arlington to finish the season series on Monday. Houston ran away with it, punishing Texas' pitching along the way to a lopsided win.

Final Score: Astros 15, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 84-59, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Spencer Howard (0-4)

Houston blows it open early

The Astros poured it on against the Rangers early in this opener, getting multi-run innings in the first two innings. They went up 3-0 before Texas could get to the plate in the top of the first, putting two on base to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Yuli Gurriel, then later a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa. They extended that to a 7-0 advantage in the top of the second, with a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve and a two-run 401-foot homer by Yordan Alvarez, blowing it open.

Odorizzi exits with injury

Meanwhile, the Astros took a hit on the other side of the ball in the bottom of the second. After a scoreless first, Odorizzi ran to first to make a play for the first out of the second but would injure himself on the play, ultimately coming out as Cristian Javier would quickly enter from the bullpen. Javier did well to eat up some innings, despite allowing a run in the bottom of the third, making it through the fourth to hand it to Houston's next reliever.

Meanwhile, Houston kept scoring, taking advantage of a hit batter in the top of the third with a two-run homer by Jose Siri, his first in the majors to make it 9-0 before the Rangers got their run in the bottom half. After Phil Maton came in and tossed a scoreless bottom of the fifth, the Astros tacked on four more runs in the top of the sixth, two on a homer by Alex Bregman, then two more RBI for Siri, who provided a two-out single to give him four RBI on the night and extending the lead to 13-1.

Astros win big in Arlington

Maton stayed on the mound and provided a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, then in the top of the seventh, Yordan Alvarez would launch his 30th homer of the year, this one a 422-foot opposite-field bomb to make it 14-1. Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever, retiring the Rangers in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Jose Siri struck again in the top of the eighth, getting his fourth hit, second homer, and fifth RBI of the night with a solo shot to extend the lead to fourteen runs. Brooks Raley took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning, erasing a leadoff single to send the game to the final inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Yimi Garcia would end the lengthy, lopsided game as Houston would continue to reduce their magic number.

Up Next: The second of this four-game series will be another 7:05 PM Central start on Tuesday. Zack Greinke (11-5, 3.66 ERA) is slated to return from the COVID IL and make his first start since August 29th for the Astros, while Jordan Lyles (8-11, 5.43 ERA) will be on the mound for the Rangers.

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Nick Caserio's history of drafting injury prone players has become a problem. Composite Getty Image.

Nick Caserio was hired to serve as the general manager (GM) of the Texans on January 7, 2021. Some saw it as another nod to the organization's obsession with the Patriots. Others saw it as the team finally getting their guy after pursuing him previously. They were even hit with a tampering charge while trying to talk to him about the job. Since he's been on the job, there have been highs and lows.

Recently, the news about Kenyon Green and Derek Stingley Jr put a stain on his tenure. Green was placed on season-ending injured reserve (IR) and Stingley Jr is expected to be placed on IR, likely missing six to eight weeks, per Aaron Wilson. Both guys were Caserio's 2022 first rounders. Both guys are starting to look like busts and have fans a little more than just upset.

Green's case was curious because he was said to have needed surgery before he tore his labrum during the Saints preseason game. He had knee surgery this past offseason. There were knee injury concerns when he was coming out of A&M. Adding to his injuries, Green has played poorly. To make matters worse, the Chargers drafted fellow guard Zion Johnson two picks later. Johnson played all 17 games last season as a rookie at right guard and has moved to left guard this season. The pick used to draft Green was part of a trade back with the Eagles. They used the 13th overall pick to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a guy at a position this team could desperately use.

Stingley Jr was a highly touted recruit coming into LSU as a freshman. He played as well as any corner in the country that year. Oh, and they won a national title with arguably one of the best teams in college football history. His net two years in Baton Rouge were marred with injuries. Some believed his junior year was more him holding back to stay healthy for the draft. It worked because he was taken third overall, one spot ahead of Sauce Gardner. Gardner went on to be an All Pro as a rookie. While he's surrounded by more talent on the Jets' defense, people will forever link them because Stingley Jr hasn't lived up to expectations. He missed six games last season and is set to miss at least that many this season. When he has played, he's looked okay. “Okay” isn't what you want from a guy drafted third overall ahead of the other guy who was widely considered better than him.

For the 2021 draft, Caserio was handcuffed. He had no first or second rounders, and made a few trades that lessened his draft pool from eight to five picks. Of the five guys drafted that year, only Nico Collins seems to be a player. The 2022 draft was more productive. Although Green and Stingley Jr were the headliners and haven't played up to the hype, the others are carrying the load. Jalen Pitre and Dameon PIerce alone make that draft class dope. This past draft was seen as the one to save the franchise so to speak. Getting C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr got the team a franchise quarterback and edge rusher with picks two and three overall. The price paid to move back up to three was hefty and puts more scrutiny on Anderson Jr. They appear, so far, to have also found a couple other nice players. Tank Dell being the hidden gem of this class.

While people can't, and shouldn't, base Caserio's performance strictly off of the guys he's drafted, one must call it into question. The '21 draft was a wash. The '22 draft looks suspect, but has some redeeming qualities. The '23 draft will most likely be his saving grace. But should it? Former Texans GM Rick Smith nailed almost every first rounder he drafted. Even he was almost run out of town because folks didn't like what he did. Why should Caserio be any different? So what if he cleaned up the mess by the previous regime! That's what he was hired to do!

“Keep that same energy!” That phrase is used when people try to hold others to different standards. Where's that energy everyone had for Bill O'Brien, Jack Easterby, Rick Smith, Gary Kubiak, David Culley, and Lovie Smith? When others weren't performing well, their heads were called for. I see some people holding Caserio accountable. For the most part, it appears as if he's getting a bit of a pass. I'll be interested to see if this continues should the team has another subpar season. If that pick they traded to the Cardinals is another top 10 pick and the Browns pick the Texans own isn't...if Green can't come back and/or Stingley Jr doesn't show any signs of being a lockdown corner...then what? Let's hope none of this comes to fruition. If it does, we'll have to revisit this conversation.

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