In a word? No

Can new Texans WR Randall Cobb soften the Hopkins departure?

Houstontexans.com

The Texans got to work trying to replace DeAndre Hopkins late Monday.

Cobb stays in Texas

Last year for the Cowboys Randall Cobb played primarily from the slot position and amassed 828 yards and three touchdowns for Dallas. It was his first season playing for the Cowboys and he managed two 100 yard games twice.

Funny money

This is a bad deal. Cobb will be 30 before the season starts and hasn't been regularly productive in almost two seasons. His contract checks in around the same as Adam Humphries of the Titans and John Brown of the Bills. Both are much younger or far more productive than Cobb.

The fear here, and the Texans have done nothing to dispel the notion, is Houston is viewed as an ATM. Agents will likely use the Texans to drive up the price on players or just milk them for exaggerated contracts.

Texans so slotty right now

The Texans now have three wideouts who played primarily slot receiver in Cobb, DeAndre Carter, and Keke Coutee. Considering Carter just got extended, this is likely the end for Coutee. The former fourth round pick flashed his rookie year but never got out of the O'Brien doghouse as injuries and then a lack of cohesiveness in the offense doomed him.

Injuries a concern?

The Texans don't have depth at wide receiver and their top pass catcher, Will Fuller, has never played 16 games. In fact, this trio has five 16 games seasons combined, the same number DeAndre Hopkins had in his career.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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