JERMAINE EVERY'S Every-Thing Sports

Holiday Blues? Let sports help

Thinking of lost loved ones during the holidays can be rough. Jermaine Every

Every now and then, I like to be transparent with my audience. People often talk about how they “keep it real,” but few often do so. I’ve talked about my vasectomy in regards to men’s health, making memories with your kids, and wrote about how some die-hard female Astros fans felt about the Osuna trade. I’m not one to shy away from how I feel on any given subject. Except that time AJ Hoffman shamed me into the vasectomy on-air, but that’s different.

That being said, let’s talk about something most people don’t like to talk about: holiday depression. Mental health is a taboo subject. Some seek help, some self-medicate, and some refuse to acknowledge they need it. But holiday time can often bring about some tough times for those of us that deal with holiday depression.

Holiday depression may be a term I made up because I doubt the medical profession would call it that. But I sometimes deal with it when I think of my little brother or grandmother. One was my best friend and knew me better than anybody, the other taught me how to cook and how to put others above yourself (especially those less fortunate).

One of the things that have helped me throughout this time in dealing with it has been sports. The memories of playing sports video games, collecting cards, and studying sports with my little brother helps. As does the countless hours debating with my grandmother why Shaq is a great player and not just a “big ol dummy who bullies people,” or who’s better Elway or Montana.

Chris and I would spend any allowance or birthday money we had on cards and video games. Our favorite was Bill Walsh College Football on Super Nintendo. I still have our collection of basketball cards from the early ‘90s. We have the Bulls’ roster from their first title win, as well as a rare (I think) Magic vs Mike card from the ’91 Finals.

Another thing that makes me smile is remembering how my grandmother also taught me how to talk trash. It goes back to watching the Lakers/Celtics matchups in the NBA Finals in the ‘80s. She even trolled us by wearing her Colts gear when the Saints played “her boy” Peyton Manning. Sometimes I wish she were still here to see how her sister (my godmother) is now an Alabama fan given they were born and raised right outside Baton Rouge. (Side note: My godmother sent Mad Dog and I a crystal football after Bama beat LSU in the national title game with a note saying “Bama is a real dynasty.”)

People all deal with depression around this time of year differently. Sports can be a nice respite from it all. A few months ago, a good friend of mine lost his niece in a senseless act of violence. It’s going to be tough on him and his family, but I know sports will help them through their first holiday season without her.

We can often times allow sports to depress us. Let’s try to use them to our benefit this holiday season. While I know this may not work for everyone, give it a shot. All of you going through it this holiday season, you’ll be in my prayers. God bless.

 

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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