EVERY-THING SPORTS

It's time to reassess everything we thought we knew about Nick Caserio, Texans

Many fans weren't impressed with the Texans draft. Composite image by Jack Brame.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article titled "An honest discussion about our expectations for the Texans." In said article, I gave Texans general manager Nick Caserio props for "bringing in some decent talent." While by no means was I admitting Caserio was building a winner, but he brought in a ton of guys on one year deals who are going to be competing for their next contract. Meaning, they'll play hard, but the talent level and chemistry of opposing teams will ultimately win out as the Texans will have a losing season. I predicted they'll go somewhere between 7-10 and 4-13. A record in that range is good for a top 5-10 pick in the draft, which they desperately need in order to assist in the rebuild.

Last week, I wrote about the most likely scenarios for the Texans following the draft. Considering the moves Caserio made, I wasn't too pleased with the draft. They came into the draft with eight picks and drafted only five players after severely overpaying to trade up twice and only getting one of the guys they traded up for, so I felt as if this draft by Caserio left much to be desired. However, it may turn out for the best, but that largely depends on Davis Mills turning into a franchise quarterback and Nico Collins turning into a stud at receiver. Counting on third round picks to become big time stars in order to justify them being drafted over other guys who played positions of obvious need is a reach. Not saying it won't happen, but the likelihood isn't great.

I was optimistic about Caserio's hire initially. I had a short fuse of confidence in his abilities because I hoped he'd had learned enough in his twenty years in New England that he would be capable of doing a good enough job here. Not that I thought he'd be a superstar right away, but effective. The series of one year deals and cleaning up some cap issues made me think I was right. Re-signing David Johnson in light of bringing in Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay made me wonder if he was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. Then there was the draft. Taking a quarterback when you already have a contingency plan starter and traded for a backup was puzzling. Sure Mills has some traits and could be a steal, but your biggest needs were on defense. The nail in my confidence coffin was his comment "I'm not a draft expert" when asked what he thought about their draft. Whether he meant it as "I'm no Todd McShay", or as "I'm too dumb to know what I'm doing just yet", the perception is there that the latter is what's believed.

When you're in a situation and you don't really know what to do, but you fake it till you make it, would you tell people? Or, would you let your performance speak for itself? No matter what I thought, if I were him, I would have never uttered those words! Perception is everything in the court of public opinion. So far, Caserio has made me think much less of his abilities moving forward. The only things he can do to change my mind is win big on a Deshaun Watson trade and hit it big with not only this, but the next couple drafts as well. If he can build a playoff contender within in the next couple of years, I'll take it back. Until then, he's just another bum living off the Bill Belichick rub.

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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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