Well, that sucked. An ugly 4-1 loss that felt more like 10-1, featuring a masterful performance by Roy Halladay and some more problematic defense by the Rangers.
Evan Grant's game story this morning rips the team for its poor defensive showing in the first two weeks, and Grant says Ron Washington had a clubhouse meeting after the game to talk about the problems. Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, and Hank Blalock met together afterwards, as well.
Grant also touched on the defensive problems in a blog post last night, but I think the bigger problem here is that the left side of the infield just isn't very good, defensively. Ian Kinsler has been a solid defensive player throughout his career, and was outstanding after coming off the d.l. last season (which gave him a chance to work on, and get more comfortable with, the changes to his footwork Washington had him incorporate), but Young and Blalock just aren't good defensively, and no amount of team meetings is going to change that. And when you've got a low-K sinkerballer like Luis Mendoza going, that's going to present problems.
And although Mendoza gave up just 1 earned run in 5 innings, his 2008 debut has to be considered mildly disappointing. Allowing 8 hits, 3 walks, and 2 HBPs in 5 innings isn't going to cut it, and it was only by getting some DPs and working out of some jams that Mendoza was able to keep the game as close as it was.
Someone has to go down to make room for Scott Feldman today...and apparently the options are optioning Josh Rupe or Kaz Fukumori, putting Dustin Nippert on waivers, or putting Jamey Wright on the d.l. My guess is that Rupe heads down.