Trade deadline passes with no moves

Opportunity knocked, the Texans didn't answer

This could come back to bite the Texans. Photo by Getty Images and Composite image by Jack Brame.

There was a mild glimmer of hope for Texans fans when the front office announced the firing of then-head coach, general manager, and overall oligarch Bill O'Brien after an 0-4 start to the season. The move signified-at least for the moment-that the Texans were interested in making moves toward becoming a more competitive franchise.

Any notions of that have since been met with a bucket of cold water.

Tuesday afternoon saw the NFL trade deadline come and go with nary a phone call to the Texans' travel coordinator.

No one's headed in, and no one is headed out.

It wasn't much of a surprise, however. Texans chairman and chief operating officer Cal McNair had been interviewed the day before and the rose-colored lenses were on full display with regards to his 1-6 franchise:

There weren't even little things.

Still, there was hope that the message was simply a smokescreen and deals would still be discussed--which there were (we'll get to that).

Long shots to move were names like defensive end JJ Watt, and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Others, like wide receiver Randall Cobb were mentioned, but none carried more trade value than wide receiver Will Fuller.

None moved.

Through the most basic logical parameters you can do nothing but conclude that there is hardly a more sell-off worthy candidate in football than the Houston Texans. They're a 1-6 team with holes up and down the roster and zero first day draft picks with which to remedy the situation. The only way out of that situation would be to sell assets, build draft capital, and at least attempt to flip that into a first or second round pick.

To be fair, there were discussions.

It seemed like there was a number between 2 and 4 that could have been discussed, and may very well have been. But the tweet alone shows just how out of touch the front office is with team prospects and player value. Fuller is a capable wide receiver, but his injury history has restricted him to 42 games out of the past 64 in his first four full seasons. Fuller was never going to fetch a second round pick. No one on the Texans was.

The Texans should be focused on the future, not on trying to sneak into an COVID induced expanded playoff scenario. This team has played all of the actual contenders already. That's why they're 1-6.

Staying put at the deadline affected more than the Texans' draft capital. It could also potentially affect the talent pool with which they'll have to choose from among general manager hires. Having extra draft picks could have been a selling point to a potential GM as an opportunity to put their own legitimate fingerprint on the franchise from the start. It's still possible, but a tougher sell.

Instead, the Texans left their fans with the same reaction Fuller himself had leading up to the trade deadline:

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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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