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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Yordan Alvarez's homer in Wednesday's game gave him 100 RBI on the season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Winners of three straight, six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the Astros had the chance to move yet another game closer to clinching their playoff spot if they could secure the series with a win against the Angels on Wednesday. Even though it looked as though they were headed towards a loss in extra innings, they would ultimately come out ahead.

Final Score (12 innings): Astros 9, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 91-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yimi Garcia (4-9)

Losing Pitcher: Sam Selman (0-1)

Garcia goes six shutout innings

Although he didn't have swing-and-miss dominance in this start, Luis Garcia could still capitalize on a struggling Angels offense and post a shutout quality start against them. He allowed three walks and three hits throughout his outing but stranded all of them while getting outs on balls in play. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 79 P.

Alvarez reaches 100 RBI as Houston's offense keeps rolling

That performance had Garcia in line for the win, as two homers handed him a 3-0 advantage which he held. Houston once again used early offense to take a first-inning lead, as a leadoff walk by Jose Altuve turned into a monster 456-foot by Yordan Alvarez, pushing him to 100 RBI on the season. The score held at 2-0 until the top of the fifth, when Jason Castro led that frame off with a solo homer to extend the lead to three runs.

Extras in Anaheim

Phil Maton was first out of Houston's bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, but a single, double, and walk loaded the bases with no outs to put him in a jam. A lineout kept the runners put for the first out, but a single and a walk would make it a one-run game and left the bases loaded as Maton would get pulled.

Kendall Graveman entered to try and stop the bleeding, but after a force out at home to put that within reach, Jack Mayfield came through for Los Angeles with a go-ahead three-run double, giving the Angels their first lead of the series at 5-3. In the top of the eighth, a walk by Alex Bregman brought Alvarez back to the plate, and he would nearly miss a game-tying homer and instead got an RBI-single to make it 5-4.

Alvarez would still come in to tie the game, hustling home from second on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to knot things up 5-5. Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he sat down LA in order with two strikeouts. Still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly came in to force extras, and despite being shadowed by the winning run on the bases after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to send the game to the tenth.

Astros keep battling and take it in the twelfth

Jake Meyers took second base as Houston's free runner in the top of the tenth, but he would go nowhere as the Astros went down in order, giving the Angels another chance at a walk-off. Instead of giving Shohei Ohtani a free pass immediately, Houston would let Blake Taylor throw two balls to him before giving him the intentional walk.

Taylor then gave up a single to load the bases with no outs, and after getting a force out at home for the first out, Yimi Garcia would replace him. Thanks to a great play by Chas McCormick, giving him multiple in the game, the Astros would live to see another inning as he would make a great catch in right field and then throw out Ohtani at home.

In the top of the eleventh, a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel moved Aledmys Diaz to third, but that's as close as Houston would come, leaving them stuck at five runs. After Garcia retired three more batters in the bottom of the eleventh, the game moved to the twelfth, where Houston would get back in front on an RBI single by Jake Meyers, then padded the new lead on a two-RBI double by Jose Altuve, who would also score on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it 9-5. Josh James came in and wrapped things up in the bottom half as Houston secured the series victory and reduced their magic number to two against Oakland and three against Seattle.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series, and the last time these two teams will meet this year, will be an 8:38 PM Central start on Thursday. The expected pitching matchup is Alex Cobb (8-3, 3.59 ERA) for Los Angeles and Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.11 ERA) for Houston.

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