If this happens, it would be the most Texans thing ever

Can we all admit the Patriots South plan won't work for the Texans? Composite image by Jack Brame.

In this week's episode of As Kirby Turns:

The offseason is upon us! Black Monday festivities have commenced. Heads have rolled. Interviews are being conducted (virtually; and all C.D.C. guidelines for social distancing are being followed). This part of the NFL offseason excites me just as much as the playoffs, free agency, and the draft. Firings, hirings, mutual parting of ways, releases, extensions...coaching staffs and front office types get shuffled about like items at a swap meet. Teams are looking for new beginnings, fresh starts, and a way out of the malaise that was their previous regimes. And then there are the Texans.

The Texans are trying to wash away the stench of Bill O'Brien. There are some remnants of O'Brien left on Kirby however, and Jack Easterby is one of them. The difference between Easterby and others that have gotten whacked, he's positioned himself so close to Cal McNair that he's almost insulated himself from the firing squad. Or has he?!?

Recent reports have linked the Texans to Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio...AGAIN! Last offseason when the team unceremoniously got rid of general manager Brian Gaine, they tried to get Caserio from the Patriots. In true Texans form, they were rebuffed when the Patriots threw out allegations of impropriety against the Texans and they promptly folded instead of fighting. Yet here we are again.

Despite the whole notion of the Texans trying to create "Patriots South" and failing miserably, it seems as if Easterby is pushing them in this direction still. It reminded some of the Littlefinger character. Why you may ask? Well, if you're familiar with Littlefinger's character in Game of Thrones, he's all about self-preservation. "Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder." That statement has never rung more true than watching Easterby work his way up the ladder in this organization.

It's my belief that the new Caserio rumors are rooted in Easterby's attempt to secure himself in this organization. Think about it: if he gets Caserio hired as the new general manager, Caserio owes Easterby a debt of gratitude. Easterby could go from the verge of being let go or buried in busy work, to saving himself by helping an old colleague get hired to a position that could save his own job. How Littlefinger of him would that be?

If the Texans hire someone outside of the scope in which Easterby can control, he may feel as if his job is in jeopardy and react accordingly. What that may look like, I'm not sure. Maybe he has the McNairs so deeply in his grasp that it doesn't matter who's hired to come in and run this team because he may be safe regardless. Maybe he sees his days are numbered and will use whatever influence he has to make sure he stays on. Only one way to find out...tune in next week on As Kirby Turns!

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.

That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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