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Thoughts on an 8-3 loss

Phil Irwin pitched better than Miles Mikolas did, at least

Tom Pennington

Astros 8, Rangers 3

  • We've now sunk to the point that we're getting stomped by the Astros.
  • The Rangers are 3-17 over their last 20.  There's no way to put a positive spin on that.
  • Phil Irwin started today, because Nick Martinez is hurt, and Derek Holland is hurt, and Martin Perez is hurt, and Matt Harrison's career may be over, and Alexi Ogando is hurt, and Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross flamed out in their attempts to move into the rotation (and Scheppers is hurt), and Joe Saunders was terrible and got released, and Ross Wolf went to Korea, and Tommy Hanson was so bad he couldn't even make the team out of spring training, and Miles Mikolas started yesterday.
  • Irwin allowed 3 runs in 4 innings.  He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't good, either.  He'll probably be sent down tomorrow so the Rangers can get a fresh arm up.
  • Irwin allowed 2 runs in the first inning, that featured something called a "slow play."  After Jose Altuve single and stole second, Irwin got Robbie Grossman to strike out swinging, on a ball that hit the ground.  Catcher Chris Gimenez looked Altuve back to second before throwing to first to get Grossman, though, and spent so much time looking Altuve back that by the time he threw to first, Grossman was safe.
  • It was that kind of game.  In fact, its been that kind of 20 game stretch.
  • Neftali Feliz pitched two innings and was mediocre.  His velocity is still missing.  Chris Carter took him deep.
  • Aaron Poreda gave up 5 hits, including a Chris Carter homer, while retiring a single hitter.  He's still a work in progress.
  • Roman Mendez made his major league debut, and went 2 innings without allowing a hit, walking one and striking out one.  So that was good.
  • Jake Smolinski got his first two major league hits.  That was also good.
  • Leonys Martin had a triple and a homer, but also had a defensive misadventure of some sort.  I'm not sure what exactly happened, because I was watching DVR'd Futurama by that point, but apparently he made a bad throw.
  • I think we're approaching the point where we have to accept that Leonys is who he is.  Leonys is a good player, a guy who is a decent hitter with some pop from the left side, who plays a very good defensive CF and has a quality arm, but who is helpless against lefties and is going to make bad decisions.  And who isn't loud enough to call off other outfielders.
  • I think that fans can accept a player who is mediocre across the board more than they can a player with a mix of strong qualities and glaring weaknesses.  A player who is mediocre across the board, its like, you know what you are getting.  A regular old generic ballplayer, like the standard template you start off with in a video game.  Reliable, boring.  But with someone like Leonys, I think he ends up rubbing fans the wrong way because you see what he does well and think, if he can do those things well, why can't the rest of his game be at least average?  Why can't he make better decisions?  Why can't he do anything against lefthanded pitchers?  He's a good player, but there's a sense that he should be better, when you look at what he's really good at, and I think that results in a heightened level of frustration.
  • Carlos Pena was 0 for 4.  In his first at bat, he was grooved a pitch -- got a batting practice ball that he swung at and got all of.  And it resulted in a deep fly ball that caught at the base of the right field wall.  That at bat serves as an "in memorium" for the passing of Carlos Pena's power stroke.
  • Only 72 more games to go.