EVERY-THING SPORTS

Here's an important lesson in patience with Houston GMs

Good things come to those who wait. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

A few days ago I was having a discussion in a group chat with a few friends of mine. Mind you, this group is filled with people who have differing opinions, fandoms, and it's also pretty diverse. We will discuss anything and everything under the sun, but we mainly stick to sports. It's like listening to a show on ESPN Houston: you'll get your fair share of sports, but there's also some other stuff that'll get covered as well. One of my friends posed the question of why isn't Nick Caserio getting the same love Daryl Morey got as far as media coverage and on social media?

My immediate answer was short and simple: he hasn't made any splash moves and has only been on the job a few months. But it begs a different question to be answered: can Caserio reach Morey or even Jeff Luhnow status as a general manager? Both of those guys stepped into situations that weren't ideal and ended up turning them around. Morey never won a title in his run with the Rockets, but his teams made the playoffs in 10 of his 13 years and made two Western Conference Finals appearances. He succeeded in doing so while being told he couldn't tank and had to constantly find a way to build a winner. Luhnow was afforded the ability to tear it down and start from scratch. The Astros went on to lose 90 games or more in his first four seasons, but proceeded to make the playoffs in five of the next six, including two World Series appearances, with the roster Luhnow was able to rebuild. Although neither guy's era ended well (Morey stepped down when the team needed to rebuild and the Harden/Westbrook experiment failed; Luhnow was fired after the cheating scandal came down), they both brought their respective franchises to heights that neither had never been seen (Astros winning the 2017 World Series), or heights that haven't been seen in years (Rockets making the Western Conference Finals for the first time in almost 20 years) under these two guys.

But can Caserio replicate Morey and Luhnow's level of success? I believe he can. As with some of my other opinions, there's always a caveat: I believe he can, if given the free rein to make moves and decisions he feels are beneficial to the Texans' success moving forward. So far, he's been making good bargain signings and trades. Of the 20 plus signings/trades/acquisitions he's made, only a select few have contracts that last past this upcoming year. His biggest tradeable asset is currently embroiled in a massage/sex scandal that could hinder his ability to make a splash move to acquire more assets. However, I see what he's doing and think he's doing a good job so far reshaping this roster.

The rubber will really hit the road when the draft rolls around. If Caserio can turn the draft picks this offseason and next into quality players for this team, as well as continue to spend money in free agency wisely, he'll cut short the rebuild time for the Texans. Finding or keeping your franchise quarterback plays a HUGE part in all of this. I don't envy the position he's in right now at all, but I'd trade places with him in a heartbeat because he's in a much more enviable position than I'm in. I truly hope he's allowed to work his magic and change the culture of this franchise. This fanbase and city deserves a winner to root for in their NFL franchise because they've been extremely loyal throughout some very lean years. It'd be nice to see them rewarded with a product worthy of respect and their hard-earned money they choose to spend.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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