THE PALLILOG

Will Fuller signs with possible Texans trade partner, and surprising Rockets odds

Will Fuller is heading to Miami. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

The sexual deviant allegations against Deshaun Watson are disturbing and depressing. Either Watson is a pathetic degenerate who belongs in jail (at this point not an option with these being civil suits) or Watson is the rightfully irate victim of a disgusting smear attempt with the smearers deserving time behind bars. The only possible middle ground is an implausible series of horrible misunderstandings.

This jaw dropping addition to the Deshaun Watson/Texans mess first surfaced mere hours after the Texans struck a deal with Tyrod Taylor to become their starting or backup quarterback. Taylor is a vast upgrade over A.J. McCarron as a number two, but if Taylor is the starting QB, the whole Texans' season looks that much more like number two.

Taylor was one of the more than a dozen entirely unexciting roster additions new general Manager Nick Caserio made this week. No high impact signees and definitely not a promising collection of younger guys. More than half the new Texans will be at least 29 years old when the season starts.

In the short term, Watson's situation likely has some chilling effect with respect to trade interest in him at what cost. The Texans' posture remains they have no interest in a trade. Nevertheless, interesting that logical potential trade partner Miami is signing Will Fuller to bolster the Dolphins' receiving corps.

Rockets favored?

It can't get much worse than the Rockets vs. the Pistons Friday night at Toyota Center. Despite their brand spanking new franchise record 18 game losing streak the Rockets are actually small favorites. Overall at 11-28, the Rockets sit just one half game behind the Pistons for the second worst record in the NBA. Opportunity knocks! A Rocket loss would strengthen their chances of finishing with a bottom three NBA record, which is where they must fall to have their maximum chance of 52.1 percent to keep their draft choice if it winds up in the top four of the draft lottery.

The Rockets got a minimal and reasonable return in trading P.J. Tucker to Milwaukee. They project to move up eight picks or so in the draft from near the top of the second to somewhere in the bottom seven or eight picks in the first round. New General Manager Rafael Stone basically has to move Victor Oladipo by Thursday's trade deadline. The Knicks seem the most logical trade partner. Newly acquired D.J. Augustin makes no sense for the Rockets' roster next season for which he's guaranteed seven million dollars. Stone has to be looking to move him as well. If the Rockets could literally give away Eric Gordon they would. There would be no takers.

After having only three losing seasons in the last 36, it is very possible the Rockets stink for several years. Christian Wood looks good when healthy, Kevin Porter Jr. flashes some nice skills. That's it for guys who reasonably project as average or better NBA starters going forward.

March Madness

By their two seeding in the Midwest Region, anything short of the Elite Eight would be a disappointment for the Houston Cougars. I'm sure their players would agree, if anything they might say anything short of the Final Four would be disappointing. The odds are against them getting that far. Cleveland State should pose no problem in round one, after that any team the Coogs play will be capable of beating them. The Clemson/Rutgers winner is no gimme on Sunday. UH clearly played the weakest schedule of any of the top 16 seeds in the tournament. Had the Cougars been in the Big 12 or Big 10 there is no chance their record would be 24-3. They are a two seed however because they are damn good. Sensational is understating the job Kelvin Sampson has done with the program. With the whole NCAA Tournament being held in Indiana using six venues and the UH-Cleveland State game set at Indiana University's Assembly Hall, Sampson returns to the campus where he was fired for NCAA rules violations and then functionally banned from college coaching for five years.

Baseball is coming

Inside two weeks to the Astros' season opener at Oakland. No position battles. Hardly any roster spots are up for grabs. Zack Greinke is tabbed as the Astros' game one starter. Greinke has previous Opening Day starts with the Royals and Diamondbacks. Only two pitchers have made Opening Day starts for five different franchises. Name 'em? One best known for his curveball, the other for his spitball. Answer below in Buzzer Beater #3.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Sure Michigan likely routs Texas Southern Saturday, but the way the Tigers won the SWAC Tournament to reach the First Four, then their rallying from 10 down at the half to beat fellow 16 seed Mt. St. Mary's…good stuff.

2. In five of the last seven tournaments a 14 seed has stunned a three seed. Beware Texas Longhorns vs. Abilene Christian.

3. Bert Blyleven and Gaylord Perry. Three other pitchers most defined by one pitch in their repertoire: Bronze- Trevor Hoffman change-up Silver- Bruce Sutter split fingered fastball Gold-Mariano Rivera cutter.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

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).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome