NORMALCY IS LIGHT YEARS away, but the start of the week does provide some sense of days gone by. Sort of. While the sight of the Astros is a normal thing in August, the Rockets playing regular season hoops isn’t. Another sign of the changed times is that only Hitchcock and La Marque are able to start the first day of fall football and volleyball practice on time.
Sunday: The Astros conclude their series with the Angels when Josh James (0-0, 9.00 ERA) takes the mound for Houston against Los Angles’ designated Sunday hurler, Shohei Ohtani, who failed to retire any of the six batters he faced in his loss to Oakland during his initial 2020 start. AT&T Sportsnet Southwest will be on the air at 2:30pm, which leads into the 3:10pm start time.
The Rockets get a taste of national television exposure in their second game in the NBA bubble as they “host” the Bucks in a 7:30pm tip that will be televised on KTRK 13. Houston opened the regular season with a 117-111 loss to Milwauke on October 24, which feels like a decade ago considering what has happened since that matchup. AT&T Sportsnet Southwest will also have the game live, with their pregame show starting at 7:00pm.
Monday: For Hitchcock and La Marque, the start of football and volleyball season begins as each team will be able to hold their first day of fall practice. The UIL’s revamped schedule allowed both the Bulldogs and Cougars to get underway as schools in Class 1A-4A are able to begin. Schools in 5A and 6A won’t begin their first day of fall practice until September 7.
Tuesday: The Rockets will play the role of road team in the Orlando bubble when they take on the Trail Blazers beginning at 8:00pm. Houston recorded a 132-108 rout of Portland on November 18 but the Blazers followed up with wins of 117-107 on January 15 and 125-112 on January 25. AT&T Sportsnet Southwest will start the pregame at 7:30pm. TNT will also air the game nationally.
It will be double-duty for AT&T Sportsnet Southwest, which will also have the series opener between the Astros and Diamondbacks. Framber Valdez (0-1, 6.23 ERA) gets the nod for Houston and will be opposed by veteran hurler Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 4.09 ERA). Pregame begins at 7:30pm, with the first pitch slated for 8:10pm.