American League Playoffs

Correa leads hit parade as Astros crush Red Sox, take 2-0 series lead

Carlos Correa's four RBIs help lead the Astros past the Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dallas Keuchel bounced back from early trouble in game 2 of the ALDS on Friday, was backed by a huge game from Carlos Correa, and the Astros have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the ALDS.

Keuchel finished the day with 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, and 7 Ks and Correa drove in four runs in the  8-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Correa got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer to give the Astros a 2-0 lead, scoring Jose Altuve who stayed hot by getting a two-out single prior to Correa's home run.

After getting runners on the corners with no outs in the top of the second, the Red Sox cut the lead in half on a one-out RBI single from Jackie Bradley Jr. to make it 2-1. Keuchel fought back and was able to limit the damage to only one run by getting two strikeouts to end the inning.

George Springer extended the Astros' lead to 3-1 with a solo home run to start the bottom of the third, followed by a double by Alex Bregman. Altuve followed with a RBI single to make it 4-1 Astros and end the disappointing day for Drew Pomeranz after recording just six outs. The Astros loaded the bases with no outs against Carson Smith, but David Price entered and was able to get the Red Sox out of the inning, stranding all three runners.

After allowing the run in the second inning, Keuchel locked in and sat down every batter he faced until he walked Hanley Ramirez with two outs in the sixth on his 96th pitch, prompting a call to the bullpen. Chris Devenski recorded the final out of the sixth.

Marwin Gonzalez scored on an error in the bottom of the sixth when Mookie Betts fumbled a throw after catching a Bregman flyout for the second out. The Astros then broke the game open, getting a two-RBI double from Correa, then a RBI single from Gattis to extend their lead to 8-1.

Devenski returned and pitched the seventh, and Luke Gregerson the eighth, both scoreless. Ken Giles allowed a run on a RBI single by Bradley Jr. in the ninth, but still wrapped up the Astros 8-2 win.

Going for the sweep: The series will shift to Fenway Park in Boston for games 3 and 4 (if necessary). Game 3 is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM Central and can be seen on FS1. Manager A.J. Hinch has not yet named the starter for the Astros, but the Red Sox are expected to send out former-Astro Doug Fister who went 5-9 in the regular season with a 4.88 ERA.

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It's all about Deshaun. Photo by Getty Images. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Texans moved to 3-7 following their 27-20 win over the Patriots. They are still without a permanent head coach and general manager. There lies the problem, and those problems will be settled this upcoming offseason. The new general manager and head coach will steer this franchise in the direction it needs to go in. Undoubtedly, Deshaun Watson will be at the forefront of what they do. How can he not be? You don't take a job like this with a quarterback like him and not consider him the centerpiece. What else would make one take either of those jobs? The salary cap hell the team is facing? The lack of draft picks coming off a terrible year? The faith ownership has placed in the NFL's version of Littlefinger?

Watson is the lone attraction to the flaming dumpster fire Cal McNair allowed to occur on his watch. If he's not careful, it could get worse and he'll find it hard to recover from. Watson signed an extension that'll keep him in Houston for another four years. He'll still be in his prime (barring any serious, career-threatening injury), and be eligible to hit the market as a free agent before he turns 30. So who do the Texans hire as head coach that can get the most out of Watson? Who can convince him to stay and re-sign after his extension is up?

The main cast of characters will most likely take better jobs. The Jets job is more attractive because of the cap space and draft picks. If the Falcons job opens up, so is it because of Matt Ryan and that offense. What coach/coaches would be interested in taking on this job that would be viable candidates given that the best of the best would take other jobs? Jayson Braddock and I tackled this topic not too long ago on Late Hits. Here are a few guys off the beaten path we felt were contenders:

Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator: Daboll is a guy who, according to NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, is openly campaigning for this job. The work he's done with Josh Allen has been remarkable. Allen has gone from a raw prospect with all the physical tools to an MVP candidate. Who wouldn't want a guy like that in Watson's ear guiding him over the foreseeable future?

Greg Roman, Ravens offensive coordinator: Roman has done wonders for Colin Kaepernick and Lamar Jackson. He helped Kaepernick reach a Super Bowl with the 49ers and turned Jackson into last season's league MVP. Given his history with athletic quarterbacks, he should be a natural fit and given full consideration.

Tony Elliott, Clemson offensive coordinator: Here's where it gets interesting. Elliott has been the OC (or co-OC) at Clemson since 2015. He has an established relationship with Watson and a proven track record as a coordinator of high-powered offenses in college. He's the type of hire that won't cost as much as some big names will, but might be able to provide the same spark.

Note that all three of these guys are offensive coaches. I fully understand that the defense is an issue and needs help desperately. I also understand that the previous two coaches were offensive guys as well. But Watson is your franchise quarterback and the most attractive piece in a pile of flaming dung that resides on Kirby. If anyone is going to take this job, it'll be because of number four. I know these aren't the sexy names most folks would want to hear, but these names are more realistic as candidates. None of them has head coaching experience. That fact cheapens their price tag and lends itself to them being long shots. A lot of this depends on the general manager hire. We'll get into that in another articel. For right now, dwell on this and let me know what you think.

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