RECAPPING THE TEXANS

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans 20-14 loss to the Colts on Sunday

DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans came oh so close Sunday, but fell short. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Game One of the Deshaun Watson-less Texans went as expected. Not much offense. Defense had to hold the fort down. 30-plus points scored streak is over. Here’s where I would insert the Elmo shoulder shrug GIF in a text to my friends.

The Good

-Tom Savage completed his first career touchdown pass! It was a 34 yarder to DeAndre Hopkins on a double move where he stepped up in pocket and dropped a dime. Here’s to hoping he likes the taste and longs to replicate that feeling.

-The defense has stepped up. Granted, it’s the Colts. But they performed well. 3 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown is still something to be proud of.

The Bad

-They wasted two timeouts in the third quarter because of miscommunication. This team has trouble getting plays called and has had that problem in the Bill O’Brien era. Those timeouts came up again…

-…at the end of the game when they wasted over 20 seconds after the third down conversion . Indecision has plagued this team in crucial moments. Plays must be ready to be called and the team must be ready to go. Those two timeouts, or at least one of them, could have helped change play calling and saved time.

-Ka’imi Fairbairn missed his first field goal of the year early in 2nd quarter. I made a note at that point because I felt it would be a game changer. It came back to bite at the end of the game when they needed a touchdown to win instead of a field goal to tie.

The Ugly

-Savage is as inaccurate as a Revolutionary War musket. Going 19/44, averaging 4.2 yards per pass isn’t a recipe for winning games. Sure the offensive line is bad, but that was uglier than a blob fish.

-Ryan Griffin sustained a concussion. Texans are a walking infirmary. Key players are getting hurt at a rapid rate. Seems like every week they lose another key contributor.

-288 yards of offense against the 31st ranked defense? Really?!? Watson or not, that shouldn’t happen. They averaged 4.5 yards a carry rushing, but were behind and never really got anything going until late.

-Savage fumbled to end the game. He never got a chance to make a throw to win it because he was pressured from the left side. A mix of Chris Clark and Julién Davenport played left tackle this game since Duane Brown was traded.

Was this a disheartening loss? I’d lean towards yes. Were there looming signs of impending doom? Again, I’d lean towards yes. However, there are some bright spots. Like the fact that the Cleveland Browns may not suck so bad in the near future because they own the Texans’ 1st and 2nd round picks and Deshaun Watson has previously rehabbed a torn ACL so he should come back strong next year.

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Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

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