RAHEEL RAMZANALI

State of Texas team power rankings - Week 2

DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans take over the top spot. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

I really enjoyed rankings teams last week so I want to stay focused on this for a while and see how many weeks I can rank teams before I lose interest. With that being said, let’s jump right into it!

  1. Houston Texans (Previous week ranking 1): They lead the division and continue to win. I know the first three wins of this streak felt gifted, but this one against the Broncos did not to me. The Broncos were in desperate need of a win and the Texans had just enough to pull it off. The offense could have been better in the second half, but the defense did its job and limited points. I count this as a legit win even though it took a missed FG to pull it off.

  2. San Antonio Spurs (Previous week ranking 6): With everyone ahead of them losing since the last time I opened up Google Docs and with them being the only team to be above 500 in the Southwest, the Spurs by default move up to number 2 in the rankings.

  3. Texas Longhorns (Previous week ranking 3): OMG DOES DANA NOT UNDERSTAND THAT HE SHOULDN’T BE GOING FOR 2 WHEN YOU CAN PLAY FOR OVERTIME?!?! Ugh, what a call. I was in Austin for the game and saw my beloved Horns fall to friend of the show Dana Holgerson. Sam Ehlinger balled out, but the defense didn’t help him out. Tough loss for the Horns, but it was at least a tough fight.

  4. Houston Rockets (Previous week ranking 8): Carmelo Anthony did the damn thing on Friday night against the Nets. He provided another scoring threat and played some great defense in the fourth. Props to him.

  5. Texas A&M (Previous week ranking 5): The hardest thing to do in the SEC is win games because they just mean so much more according to the conference and the Aggies learned a valuable lesson on finishing out games. Tough loss, but a lot of good can be taken away from this loss.

  6. Houston Cougars (Previous week ranking 2): Guess that Texas Tech loss won’t hurt as much anymore now that SMU is a thing. Something about that pesky SMU squad that the Cougars can’t overcome on the road.

  7. Dallas Mavericks (Previous week ranking 7): They are 2-7 now. They didn’t win a game all week. Blessings to them.

  8. Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Previous week ranking: unranked): OK, Fayetteville isn’t in Texas, but they are the Houston Astros Class A Advanced team affiliate and they automatically are better than the Cowboys because of how awesome their mascot looks.

  9. Dallas Cowboys (Previous week ranking 11): The only reason the Cowboys moved up two spots is because I ran out of teams to put ahead of them. LOLOLOLOL the Cowboys.

 

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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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