Astros fall to 4-4 on the year

Greinke much improved, Astros fall to Angels in extra innings

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After finishing the opening game of this three-game series at approximately 12:30 AM Central on Friday night / Saturday morning, the Astros and Angels were back in action on Saturday evening, with Houston looking to lock up the series win and extend their division lead. Here is a recap of the middle game:

Final Score (10 Innings): Angels 5, Astros 4.

Record: 4-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Ryan Buchter (2-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Nivaldo Rodriguez (0-1, 0.00 ERA).

Greinke looks much improved, but falters in sixth inning

After combining for 15 runs the night prior, both teams had slow starts on Saturday evening. For the Angels, that came at the hand of Zack Greinke, who put together a vastly more impressive start than his 2020 debut where he went just 3.1 innings and allowed three runs.

Greinke did not allow a baserunner until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Angels would get their first hit with one out. That would break the seal on their offense, as Los Angeles would end up tagging Greinke with two runs on a sac-fly and RBI-single, ending his night two outs into the inning as Blake Taylor would get the final out. Greinke's final line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

Angels stay in command through eight

Houston was able to create some chances in the early parts of the game, but couldn't convert them. They had runners on in five of the first six innings, but would not be able to get on the board over that span. Josh Reddick led off the top of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a groundout, then scored to cut the lead in half on a two-out RBI-single by George Springer.

Taylor remained in the game for Houston on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, and he continued his impressive start to his rookie campaign by working around a two-out single to keep it a one-run game. Ryan Pressly would make his 2020 debut out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth to try and give Houston's offense a chance in the top of the ninth. He was greeted with a lead-off triple, which would eventually turn into a run on a two-out RBI-single to push Los Angeles back in front by two at 3-1. That would also mark the end of Pressly's night as Brandon Bailey would come in to get the final out of the frame.

Teams trade blows to go to extras, Angels come out ahead in tenth

In the top of the ninth, Josh Reddick was able to get Houston back within one run with a one-out solo home run. After Garrett Stubbs kept Houston alive with a two-out single, George Springer would give the Astros their first lead of the day with a two-run home run, making it a 4-3 Astros advantage. Now in a save situation, Roberto Osuna came in for the bottom of the ninth. He would get one out, then allow a runner before being taken out mid-at-bat with an injury.

Cy Sneed would enter quickly, and after a wild pitch to move the runner to second allowed an RBI-double to former-Astro Jason Castro to tie the game 4-4. Sneed would hold the Angels there, sending the game to extra innings. Alex Bregman would start the top of the tenth on second base per the 2020 rules and would be joined by Kyle Tucker, who received an intentional walk to start the inning with two on base and no outs.

Though the Astros would load the bases with two outs, the Angels would get out of the jam with a strikeout. Nivaldo Rodriguez would come out of the bullpen for the bottom of the tenth and allowed the walk-off to tie the series at one apiece.

Up Next: The finale of this series will start at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. The pitching matchup will be two pitchers looking to rebound from underwhelming season debuts. Josh James will be on the mound for Houston after allowing three runs over three innings in his first start, and Shohei Ohtani is starting for Los Angeles, who allowed five runs without recording an out in his.

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Watson's accusers appeared on Real Sports on Tuesday night. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images.

HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s heavily promoted and much anticipated examination of Deshaun Watson’s legal mess involving alleged sexual misconduct shed little new light and merely presented a summary of well worn he said/she (x22) said accusations and denials.

The episode debuted Tuesday night on the premium cable service and will be repeated dozens of times throughout the week on HBO’s platforms. Check your local listings for times and channel.

The segment was hosted by Soledad O’Brien who presented compelling face-to-face interviews with two of the quarterback’s accusers: massage therapists Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes. Their stories were detailed and graphic. Both cried during the interviews.

Solis: “As I’m working, he deliberately grabs himself and put his penis on my hand. I pulled my hand away instantly and I started crying. I told that I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Solis said she felt threatened when Watson, before leaving the session, allegedly told her: “I know you have a career to protect, and I know that you don’t want anyone messing with it, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.”

Solis added, “That’s when I got really scared because that sounded like a threat to me.”

Hayes: “He wanted me to kind of make a V motion in his pelvic area. I just kept massaging and did what he asked, until his penis kept touching me repeatedly as I did it.”

Hayes said that Watson had an orgasm, which she said was “mortifying, embarrassing and disgusting.”

O’Brien asked Hayes why she continued to have contact via email with Watson after their encounter.

Hayes: "I wasn't sure what he was capable of. He could've physically assaulted me. He could've bashed my business, so I had to protect myself and my business the best way I saw fit. Did I ever see him again after that? No. Did I give him the runaround? Yes."

O’Brien pointed out that two separate grand juries in Texas heard criminal accusations against Watson and neither found enough evidence to indict him.

Solis and Hayes, and 20 other massage therapists have filed civil suits against Watson. The cases aren’t expected to reach a courtroom until next March. Both sides could reach a settlement before then which would effectively shut down any legal action against Watson. However, both sides say they aren’t interested in any pretrial settlements. That’s what they say now, anyway.

After being banished to the sidelines for the 2021 season by the Houston Texans, Watson signed a historic, 5-year fully guaranteed $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Hayes said she feels Watson “is being rewarded for bad behavior." Solis said, "It's just like a big screw you. That's what it feels like. That we (the Browns) don't care. He can run and throw, and that's what we care about.”

Watson currently is participating in preseason workouts with the Browns and, at the moment, is cleared to play the upcoming NFL season.

That is unless the NFL suspends Watson for some, most or all of the 2022 season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league is nearing completion of its independent investigation into Watson’s case and will reach a decision “shortly,” probably this summer. The NFL and NFL Players Association mutually agreed to have former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson decide whether or not Watson violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy and what discipline should be handed down if he did.

The Browns are scheduled to play the Texans on Dec. 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

O’Brien said, while producing the Real Sports piece, she tried to interview Watson, his attorneys and the Cleveland Browns for their side of the story. All declined.

During a press conference in March to announce his joining the Browns, Watson denied any inappropriate behavior with the massage therapists.

Watson: “I never assaulted any woman. I’ve never disrespected any woman. I was raised to be genuine and respect everyone around me. I’ve never done the thing that these people are alleging. My mom and my aunties didn’t raise me that way.”

Leah Graham, a member of Watson’s legal team, sat for an interview after O’Brien’s segment was complete.

Graham: "It's 22 women. It's one lawyer. There's only one lawyer who was willing to take these cases. And as we know from Ashley Solis’ deposition, Mr. (Houston attorney Tony) Buzbee was not the first, probably not the second or third lawyer she went to, but he was the only one to take her case. Why? Not because it had merit, but because he would use these cases to increase his social media following and quite frankly to get on shows like this one.”

My reaction after watching the Real Sports segment? We weren’t in the room when the massage therapists worked on Watson. We weren’t in the grand jury room when evidence against Watson was presented. We don’t know what happened. We don’t know what will happen if these cases go to trial.

Until then all we have is one big, lurid, embarrassing mess. In American courtrooms, defendants are presumed innocent. That’s often the opposite in the court of public opinion. We’ll just have to wait while the wheels of justice grind painfully slow.

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