ESPYS 2018

Barry Laminack: The 2018 ESPYs were actually good

Several Houston athletes made appearances at the 2018 ESPYs. Astros Facebook

I'm not really an awards show guy, but with nothing else on I decided to turn on the ESPYs while I worked on some other things on my computer. There were a few cheesy moments to be sure, but overall it wasn’t all that bad. 

I give host Danica Patrick a 6.5783745 out of 10. 

While it was cool to see the Astros get Team of the Year, there were a couple of poignant moments throughout the night that really stood out to me.

The first was the “Best Coach of the Year” Award. It wasn’t the usual suspects (no pun intended). Instead, the award was given to Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon, three coaches that were killed bravely trying to defend and save their students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Florida back in February.

Secondly, I was really moved by Jim Kelly, winner of the 2018 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The man has been through some stuff in his life, and still seems like such a positive person who has become a really positive and motivational influence on people. 

Kelly opened his speech talking about his son, and boy did it get misty in my living room. He talked about persevering, and about the love and support that he has had throughout his life. 

“So I just urge everybody out there, if you have somebody out there who is suffering, it doesn't have to be cancer, it could be somebody not having a good day. It could be your mom or your dad. It could be your grandparents. What you say to them, the smile that you have on your face, that could be the difference in them making it to the next day. Remember that." - Jim Kelly

It was all very moving.

But there was nothing more moving, powerful, or impactful than the final award of the night — the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award went to all of the victims and survivors of Larry Nassar. 141 of the 333 victims stood on the stage to accept the award. 3 of them, former gymnast Sarah Klein (Nassar’s first victim), former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and former US Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, spoke — telling their story for the world to hear. 

To see that many women on stage — all victims of 1 man (and a failed support system of adults) was eye-opening. All 3 of the speakers did an outstanding job, displaying composure, grace, and poise beyond what most of us possess. 

The one quote that really hit me hard was when Aly Raisman said the following:

"All we needed was just 1 adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nasser."

Speak Up.

Speak Out.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.

Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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