So, 3-3 on that little road trip, and feeling much better about things than we did in the midst of that Detroit series.
Huge game by Brandon McCarthy yesterday. Jeff Wilson says McCarthy started getting things turned around during his last start in Detroit:
Brandon McCarthy had an epiphany of sorts last week in Detroit, after he had given up three runs and seven hits on 67 pitches in the first three innings.
He was getting nowhere trying to nit-pick. Instead of having the upper hand, he was falling behind in counts and giving hitters the edge in too many at-bats.
So, McCarthy started throwing strikes early in counts and pitched to contact. The Tigers scored only once over the next four innings.
He used the same, simple approach Sunday, and the Houston Astros didn’t score at all.
McCarthy guided the Rangers to a 5-0 victory with the first complete game and first shutout of his career, and the Rangers swept the first three games in the Lone Star Series.
"Just stop focusing on focusing so much, I guess," said McCarthy, who threw 124 pitches. "Just letting it throw, and once you settle into a groove, you don’t have to do as much work."
Jim Reeves says that the Rangers now have a nice problem -- too many starters. Reeves suggests that McCarthy was in danger of losing his rotation spot, but now, the Rangers may simply take their time bringing Vicente Padilla back from the disabled list to see if things sort themselves out.
Personally, I don't see what the problem is...when Padilla is ready to return, let Derek Holland go back out to the bullpen and continue doing what he was doing before Padilla's injury, and ride things out from there. Holland can be a weapon in the pen as a lefty who can go multiple innings, while providing insurance should one of the starters become ineffective or get hurt, and we see where we are come July.
If everyone is doing well in July, you might consider trying to move Padilla and try to bring in a reliever, but realistically, given how much we've talked before about the need for viable options for the rotation behind the front five, I don't see the issue with sticking with the original five and keeping Holland in reserve until he's needed.
T.R. Sullivan says that Michael Young has a grade 2 sprain of his ankle, and that it is basically an issue of whether he can handle the pain as to whether or not he can be out there, which is why Young was back in the lineup yesterday. Sullivan also has this quote from Ron Washington about Chris Davis being back in the lineup on Sunday, despite struggling on Saturday:
"We're trying to get Chris' confidence back," Washington said. "I don't want to sit him one day, start him and then sit him again. I don't want to mess with his head. He wants to do well so badly and we want him to do well badly."
Davis only went 1 for 4 yesterday, but one of his outs was a shot to dead center that would have been out in a lot of other parks, and he put the ball in play in all 4 times to the plate, which is progress.
Jeff Wilson's notes include a mention that Eddie Guardado is experimenting with a full windup, something he hasn't done since he was a starter in 1993.
Kevin Sherrington says that people will probably boo ARod this week, with the Yankees in town, but there are a lot of people to blame besides ARod for his time in Texas not working out.
There will also probably be some booing of Mark Teixeira, which, as I've said before, seems dumb, particularly given that if Mark Teixeira isn't traded we don't have Elvis Andrus here right now (or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, or Matt Harrison, or Neftali Feliz).