Smackdown takes a stumble this week


Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows!

The week started strong with a great Raw but fell flat as most of the Smackdown stories failed to land this week.

Raw started off a little flat with a weak promo from Sasha Banks, but business picked up fairly quickly with a great match between Ricochet and Drew Mcintyre in the King of the Ring tournament and Baron Corbin cut a great promo after defeating The Miz making King of the Ring exciting as it goes. Bayley and Nikki Cross was only an OK match but I think part of that problem is that Nikki Cross is so unorthodox that the other women seem uncomfortable in the ring with her. The Tag Team Turmoil match took an interesting turn with Heavy Machinery losing to Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, which was an interesting development as it looked likely that this was supposed to be Heavy Machinery's time. Sasha Banks' return to the ring was impressive but the whole thing is still odd as the rumors had been that she was unhappy and wanting out, maybe they're trying to give her one more run and see if they can make her happy and keep her. The AJ styles finish completes the AJ Styles heel turn; it's one thing to say "I'm a jerk but I'll take any fight" and another thing to fake being hit with a chair to get out of a fight, this solidifies AJ's status as a heel now.

Smackdown came out flat with Kofi Kingston actually giving a pretty weak promo and then Randy Orton going Samoa Joe and bringing up Kofi's family like they're in actual danger. This is that line that I always frown at, when they pretend like these guys are really going to hurt someone for a wrestling match, it's too far. It's disappointing to see Ali get the lift over the red hot Buddy Murphy, Ali has been cutting these awful "I'm a superhero" promos and honestly he just isn't as exciting as the other guys he keeps beating. The Miz and Nakamora is a first at least and this is a good time for Smackdown to introduce a new rivalry and giving Zayn the job of repping for Nakamora gets him off the mic which is his weakest point. Bayley has been showing a great mean streak but the issue with this match is at this point where is Evans supposed to rate if she keeps losing? Randy and Big E put on a decent match and I like this pseudo stable Randy Orton has created with The Revival, these are three guys who need each other and a new direction. I honestly couldn't care less about Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin is simply spiraling to the bottom of the roster. The end of Smackdown fell flat because the entire concept of Roman Reigns apologizing to someone for thinking they tried to kill him is dumb, like anyone thought he would apologize.

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Houston's bats have a hot night

Astros clobber Rangers to win series opener

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After dropping two of three in Seattle, the Astros entered the regular season's final series still waiting to clinch their playoff berth. Luckily their matchup favored them, with four games against the 19-37 Rangers, which they have done well against in recent years. Here are highlights from the opener:

Final Score: Astros 12, Rangers 4.

Record: 29-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (5-2, 3.48 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance Lynn (6-3, 3.32 ERA).

Astros put up 10 on Lynn 

Houston had no trouble getting acquainted with the Rangers' new stadium, jumping out to an early lead in the top of the first inning. After a lengthy at-bat against Lance Lynn, Jose Altuve reached on a one-out single, then scored from first on a two-out RBI-triple by Alex Bregman. They'd double their lead in the next at-bat on an error, making it 2-0.

They extended that lead even more in the next inning, getting back-to-back singles to start the inning to set up a big three-run dinger by George Springer to straightaway center-field to make it 5-0. Bregman added two more RBI to his night in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a leadoff single by Michael Brantley by hitting a two-run homer to make it a 7-0 lead. Altuve would push the total to double-digits in the top of the sixth, lifting a three-run home run of his own to make it a 10- lead.

Javier with a decent start, bullpen closes out the win

Meanwhile, Cristian Javier was doing well on the mound against the Rangers. He allowed just three baserunners through the first five innings, a double in the first, a hit batter in the second, and a single in the fifth. He would falter a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff single then a two-run homer, then later in the inning a sac fly, making it 10-3 before Houston would turn to their bullpen. Javier's final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 95 TP.

Luis Garcia would get the final out of the sixth then returned for the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff double that would score on a two-out RBI-double, making it a six-run game before Garcia finished the frame. Brooks Raley was the next reliever and notched two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Josh Reddick gave Houston two more insurance runs, joining the home run barrage with a two-run homer in the top of the inning to make it 12-4 going to the bottom half. Brandon Bielak was given a low-leverage opportunity to throw in the bottom of the ninth. He erased a two-out double for a scoreless inning to wrap up the lopsided win, lowering Houston's magic number to 1.

Up Next: The second game of this four-game set between Houston and Texas will start Friday at 7:05 PM Central at Globe Life Field. The pitching battle will be Kyle Cody (1-1, 1.53 ERA) for the Rangers and Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.78 ERA) for the Astros.

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