A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans falter down the stretch in low-scoring loss

Texans drop to 2-7. Photo by Getty Images.

When your opponent scores 10 points, you'd think your chances at winning would increase exponentially. Not if you're the Texans. They fell to the Browns 10-7 in what was a game of missed opportunities. There were chances to make plays and call things better, but the Texans failed in both aspects.

When examining a one possession loss, there are times in which you can point to specific decisions. The main one I'm looking at here was the failed 4th & Goal from the 2-yard line in the first quarter. The idea in and of itself was a poor decision. You're on the road down 3-0 to a much more talented team. It's very early in the game and you're well within field goal range. Why risk it? Take your three points and keep it moving! There's no need to make a statement. You're a 2-6 football team. All you need to be worried about is trying to stay in games and giving yourself a chance to win. The other issue I have with it is the play that was called. Spreading the defense out and attempting a quarterback draw was what I would call Tim Kelly trying to get cute. The Browns defensive line is very good. Myles Garrett came around the end and made sure Deshaun Watson wasn't going to sniff the end zone. In fact, Watson lost two yards on the play. While the wind played a key factor in several decisions this game, I highly doubt it would've caused a problem on a 19-yard field goal attempt.

As much as Romeo Crennel and Tim Kelly got wrong, they did some things right. The decision to incorporate more motion in the offense presnap appeared to have kept the defense at bay. The run, pass, option (RPO) plays actually worked because there was a threat that you could see either of the three and a threat that Watson could actually keep it and run. Who knew! Watson had plays where runs were called for him, as well as bootlegs in which he could run if he saw fit. When the offense flows like it did, you'd think there would be more points scored. Alas, they only mustered up a measly seven when it should have been more. The run defense actually looked decent through the first half and long into the third quarter. It faltered late as they simply wore down. It was nice to see them keep the team in the game for as long as they did.

A couple other interesting decisions stuck out to me. We saw Will Fuller on the punt return team a couple times. He didn't do much, but I thought that was a nice wrinkle. Tyrell Adams was the signal caller on the defense. I found him being the one with the communication helmet instead of Zach Cunningham very interesting. He's played pretty well for them and I'm glad he's getting a shot.

Moving forward, this team is in trouble. It has a chance to salvage the season by not sucking as bad because there's no hope at making the playoffs. If the run defense can step up the way they did and the offense can find a rhythm, there's an outside shot they can beat a team not named the Jags. 2-7 looks way worse when you've only beaten the Jags and don't own your first or second rounder.

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Yuli Gurriel had a monster night at the plate Friday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Although they lost the series 2-1, the Astros ended their road trip with a nice win over the Yankees to head home on a positive note. On Friday, they welcomed in the Toronto Blue Jays and former teammate George Springer, currently on the IL, to start a three-game series and long homestand. They had an excellent night at the plate, along with a strong start from Jose Urquidy, cruising past the Blue Jays to take the opener.

Final Score: Astros 10, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 17-15, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (3-2)

Losing Pitcher: Ross Stripling (0-2)

Jays strike first, then Houston responds and never looks back

It first appeared that Urquidy may be in for a long night, giving up two solo home runs early in Friday's game, one to Bo Bichette in the top of the first with one out to put Toronto up 1-0, then another to Danny Jansen in the top of the third. However, Urquidy would lock-in, and his offense would back him up strongly.

Houston ended up sending nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, getting two runs on a homer by Carlos Correa, then later loading the bases to set up an RBI walk by Alex Bregman. In the bottom of the fifth, with a one-run lead at 3-2, Yuli Gurriel expanded the lead to three runs on a two-run shot.

Gurriel went on to have a fantastic night, going 4-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBI. His third of those came in the bottom of the seventh, extending the lead again with an RBI single to make it 6-2. Kyle Tucker made it a five-run game that same inning with an RBI double, then more insurance came in the bottom of the eighth. They reached double-digits that inning, with Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, his fourth of the night, all getting an RBI to make it 10-2.

Urquidy finishes seven, then Emanuel finishes it off

Those gave Urquidy plenty of support, though he would bounce back after the two early homers and have a nice night on the mound. He allowed just two other hits, working around both, en route to a seven-inning two-run performance to earn him the win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 84 P.

He likely could have gone longer, but Dusty Baker turned the ball over to Kent Emanuel to wrap things up with the significant lead. He did so, despite allowing a two-run home run to former-Astro Teoscor Hernandez in the top of the ninth to make the score 10-4. The win kept the Astros above .500 and two games back of the A's, who sit atop the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be a 6:10 PM start Saturday night. The pitching matchup will be Steven Matz (4-2, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto and the electric Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75 ERA) for Houston.

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