Every-Thing Sports

How playing games in the bubble could work for the Texans

Photo by Cody Stoots.

The NFL sent a memo to all teams about the process to reopening their facilities. Part of this hinges upon all teams being able to do so at the same time. Meaning: every city and state each team is in all have orders in place allowing them to reopen. This was done to create a fair and balanced way to level the playing field. Only certain employees are allowed inside. Each team must have a dedicated employee for cleaning and sanitizing the facility.

So could this lead to something more? Of course it will. This is the initial phase of what will undoubtedly take many phases, with tons of successes along the way. The league also constructed the schedule in a manner that will allow for flexibility if the start of the season has to be pushed back. But what about the games being played and how will that look? I propose playing in the practice facilities. Here are my reasons why:

More easily controlled environment

Giant stadiums require giant staffs to run them. If practice facilities are open, they could be the perfect place since there's a staff in place already. Visitors would have a hard time with locker accommodations I'm assuming, but that can be fixed. Having fewer people involved in the gameday operation ensures less people around to potentially infect teams and their staffs.

TV ready

As most of you have seen, practice facilities have cameras around all the time filming practices. They also have camera stands in place for getting the coach's film of practices as well. These places can easily accommodate a gameday camera crew. The way the games would be shot wouldn't require as many cameras as they'd usually have, so this would be another feasible aspect.

Cleaned and sanitized already

In order for teams to begin to start their seasons, they'll need practice time and/or training camp. If the facilities are being used for practice anyway, they'd be good to go for actual games. Teams will already have a dedicated employee for this specific purpose regarding team offices. Why couldn't this person double in the same capacity for the practice facility.

Not every team has an indoor facility like the Texans. Most do, however, have an indoor facility. Instead of playing in cavernous empty, or nearly empty, stadiums, play in the practice fields to start off. Of course tons of testing will be required for all those participating. The UFC has put on several events with success. So has the WWE. I'm not saying the NFL is willing to do things like those other organizations did, but they could learn something from them. This may be the way it starts, but I don't envision this being the way the whole season will play out. Besides, once the loss of income gets too great, they'll figure out something.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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