Houston lost the first but won the second

Astros' winning streak ends in doubleheader split with Tigers

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer helped lift the Astros to win the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After rain postponed Friday's matchup, and Houston's chance to extend their winning streak against the Tigers, they suited up for two seven-inning games on Saturday to catch up. They would lose the first to end their winning streak but started a new one by taking the second game to split the two games.

Game 1

Final Score (7 innings): Tigers 3, Astros 1

Astros' Record: 47-29, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Casey Mize (5-4)

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez (4-1)

Valdez pitches all six innings but is handed his first loss of the year

After a quick ten-pitch 1-2-3 first for Framber Valdez, the Tigers would get to him in the second, turning a leadoff single into a run after a one-out single and sac fly, putting Detroit ahead 1-0. He rebounded with a scoreless third and fourth, but a leadoff single would once again bite him in the bottom of the fifth as a two-run homer would put him into a 3-1 hole.

He remained on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, during which he erased another single to keep it a two-run game. However, Houston would not bail him out in the top of the seventh, meaning Valdez would get the loss, his first of the season, despite a complete-game (6 innings) quality start: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 86 P.

Houston's winning streak ends at eleven

Houston's offense, which had been scorching hot as of late, was held to just one run in the first game, which came on a two-out RBI single by Carlos Correa in the top of the third, at the time tying the game. All six of their hits were singles on the day, getting no extra-base hits in the loss that snapped their eleven-game winning streak.

Game 2

Final Score: Astros 3, Tigers 2

Astros' Record: 48-29, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (5-1)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (4-4)

McCullers Jr. pitches into the sixth

Lance McCullers Jr. had a rough first inning in game two, giving up a single and a walk with one out before an RBI single would put the Tigers in front 1-0. After that 26-pitch frame, though, he was able to settle in and retire 11 in a row to keep it a one-run game while Houston's offense continued to try and re-spark their bats.

Detroit put up another one-run inning against him in the bottom of the fifth, getting a one-out single, which would later score on a two-out RBI single to double their lead to 2-0. He finished the fifth and returned in the sixth, but after a one-out double, he would see his day end. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Astros get the comeback win to split the doubleheader

As their outs started to run out, Jose Altuve led the top of the sixth off with a double to bring the tying run to the plate. After two outs, Yordan Alvarez would make the most of it, getting a two-run game-tying homer. Carlos Correa fed off the energy, blasting a go-ahead solo homer in the next at-bat, giving the Astros their first lead of the game 3-2.

After McCullers Jr. left with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Houston turned to Ryne Stanek, who could strand an inherited runner on second to send the one-run game to the seventh. Then, with it still 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Ryan Pressly came in to try and close things out and did so to notch another save on the year, and giving Houston the split in the doubleheader with a chance to win the series on Sunday.

Up Next: The fourth and final game of this series will be a 12:10 PM Central first pitch on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.75 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston, opposite Tarik Skubal (4-7, 4.33 ERA) for Detroit.

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Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies have plenty of work to do this offseason. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

After an underwhelming win against one of the worst teams in the nation last Saturday against UMASS, the Aggies looked like they were poised to head into the final game of the year against LSU unmotivated and shorthanded. With rumors of star recruits rushing to the transfer portal, Jimbo Fisher was fighting an uphill battle to topple the fifth-ranked LSU Tigers. In his first year with the Tigers, head coach Brian Kelly has already gotten his squad to the SEC Championship game. That certainly has got to rub Coach Fisher the wrong way as his best finish in the SEC to this point has been second in 2020. But instead of laying down and dying, the Aggies capped off arguably the most disappointing season in program history on Saturday with a signature win for Jimbo Fisher and his program.

The win over LSU wasn't just some fluke win, that was caused by LSU shooting itself in the foot over and over again. The Aggies were just flat-out the better team on Saturday. They won the turnover battle, time of possession, had more passing and rushing yards and were more effective on third downs. The Ags took playing for the seniors like Demani Richardson, Connor Choate and Max Wright to heart and pulled out an impressive and gutsy win. Unfortunately, that performance left a question on the table, where was this all year? To answer that, I want to go back to the first article I wrote this year and dive into how the Maroon and White faired in what I thought would be the key areas.

The three main areas I was watching closely on this team were quarterback play, how many freshmen contributed and how DJ Durkin, the new defensive coordinator performed with his new schemes. First up, quarterback play. The Aggies saw three different starting quarterbacks in the 2022 season. First, Haynes King, who was benched due to performance and injuries. Then Max Johnson, who was knocked out for the season due to injury and finally, Connor Weigman. Weigman only missed one game due to illness but showed in every start that he is worth those five stars he got as a recruit. The position was overall a disappointment but the future is bright going forward with #15 taking the snaps.

Next up, freshman impact. Of the 30 total true freshman on A&M’s roster 16 of them saw significant playing time in 2022 and 23 of them got on the field at some point during the year. With a team so decimated with injuries, many of them got on the field maybe a little sooner than expected. However, they did not disappoint. Many of them had an instant impact, such as Connor Weigman, Donovan Green, Evan Stewart or Bryce Anderson. Not to mention that defensive line… if Jimbo can keep these guys on campus and keep them out of the transfer portal, this team will be dangerous in 2023.

Finally, the new defensive coordinator DJ Durkin had some big shoes to fill in 2022 with Mike Elko’s departure. His unit struggled at times during the year, mostly against the run. As of this writing, the Aggies rank 124th in the nation in run defense. That's not good. But against the pass, they are up in 1st. So for Durkin in his first year, it was the middle of the road. He was far from the biggest problem with the dismal 5-7 season.

With all that being said the 2022 season is in the books. A&M will not go bowling for the first time since 2008 and Jimbo Fisher will have a lot to work on this offseason to get the ship righted. He has already relieved offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey of his duties in what is expected to be the first of many staff changes. Recruiting will be interesting to follow as well, the Ags are not projected to have a recruiting class anywhere near as impressive as last year. All these factors aside, the Aggies will most likely be a preseason top-10 team in 2023 and believe me, I have already started counting down the days until the Aggies take to Kyle Field to face New Mexico on September 2nd.

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