TEXANS LOSE AGAIN

Rams are latest team to prove Savage does not have the skills to be an NFL quarterback

Tom Savage was bad against the Colts. He was at his turnover-generating worse against the Rams. Tim Warren/Getty Images

Tom Savage is not good at sports

He gave the Rams defense 10 points on two awful sack/fumbles. He was lucky he did not give them more on a pick 6 that was called back on a questionable defensive holding call.

He has led his team to one offensive TD in each of the last two games.

Sunday he gave up at least 16 points and generated just 7. What does all that mean?

Savage is not an NFL quarterback. It is questionable he is even a backup in the league. All of that was on display in Sunday’s loss to the LA Rams, a game that was there for the taking, but turned into a 33-7 LA rout.

There were several other issues -- blown coverages and big plays given up by an awful defense again, shaky special teams and a bad offensive line -- but Savage was the main culprit.

Savage was just 18 of 37 for 221 yards, one touchdown, two picks and two fumbles. This follows his less than stellar 19 of 44 effort against the Colts. His two starts have been absolutely Osweilerian.

He threw a bad interception in the red zone, one of those “what was he thinking?” passes. What should have been -- at worst -- a 10-6 lead at halftime became a 9-7 deficit.

He failed to connect on easy passes. His body language screamed that it was all in his head. His pocket presence does not exist, other than he is present in the pocket. He simply does not deserve to be starting.

The Texans defense did its best to keep the team in the game in hopes Savage would come around. He never did. The defense spent too much time on the field and could not hold the Rams down forever. After Savage’s second sack/fumble, they gave up a quick TD and the rout was on.

At 3-6, the Texans season is doomed. It effectively ended when Deshaun Watson went down in practice. But if Savage were even remotely competent, the Texans could be sitting at 5-4 with a chance to win the putrid AFC South. However, Savage’s inability to move the team consistently and penchant for giving points to the opponent took away any hope the Texans had.

It is not on Bill O’Brien. The play calls were there. Savage could not convert. The real problem is not signing a solid backup in the offseason and instead believing in Savage, who has never looked like an NFL quarterback in his prior opportunities.

Do the Texans have a better option? Probably not. And at this point, does it really matter? T.J. Yates is not going to give them a six-game winning streak. The only quarterback that could do that is limping around on the sidelines. And losing does not help the Texans; they have traded away their top two picks next season. In essence, 2017 is lost.

But at least you get to savor the Tom Savage experience. It’s fun if you enjoy watching people who are not good at their jobs.

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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