BARRY LAMINACK

Kevin Johnson's loss may be no loss at all for Texans

Perhaps the most frustrating thing to come out of last Sunday's 27-20 loss to the New England Patriots was the play of starting cornerback Kevin Johnson. His inability to be anywhere near the ball and do his job effectively stood out to me more than anything else on Sunday.

He looked lost out there; like he didn’t belong.

I went so far as to say on Twitter, during the game, that he should never be allowed on the field again.

What I didn't anticipate was shortly after my tweet hit the web that Johnson would suffer another concussion, an injury that would necessitate him being placed on IR (but according to Aaron Wilson on Twitter(@AaronWilson_NFL): "...he can be designated for return.”)

First things first, I feel horrible for Kevin Johnson. I would never wish injury on any player, especially such a serious and dangerous injury like multiple concussions. All my best to Kevin for a full and speedy recovery.

That said, it still doesn't change my mind about his role with the Texans. I think at this point it’s time to move on from Johnson, and the Texans have plenty of options that will allow them to do so.

To fill the roster spot the Texans went out and signed journeyman cornerback Shareece Wright. Wright started five games last year for the Bills, so it’s not a total Shock that Brian Gaine reached out to him.

But even with the signing of Wright, the Texans have a ton of other options already on the roster that can be moved around in the secondary.

Johnathan Joseph is pretty much staying put, but Aaron Colvin could slide to the other outside corner position (and I’ll go as far as to say now that I think by the time the year is up, he’ll be the best corner on the Texans).

If the Texans like Colvin covering the slot, they could move Kareem Jackson back to corner and give some reps to highly regarded rookie Justin Reid at safety. Heck the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu often moved up from his safety position to play some corner when he was in Arizona.

So don’t worry about the secondary Texans fan, I think they’ll be fine.

Spend all of your time worrying about that o-line. Yikes!

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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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