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Thoughts on an 8-2 Rangers loss

Astros 8, Rangers 2

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Astros 8, Rangers 2

  • That wasn’t how I wanted the weekend to go.
  • Mike Minor made his Rangers debut today, and the one bright spot from today was Minor’s performance. He didn’t work deep into the game -- he was lifted with two outs in the 5th, at 93 pitches -- but he showed the swing-and-miss stuff that made him a legitimate impact starting pitcher before his injury, and that made him a dominant reliever last season. The Rangers are going to be cautious with Minor’s workload, and he will apparently stick on a five day rest schedule for at least the first part of the season, but he’s probably the best starting pitcher on the Rangers’ staff right now. I think the big question with him will be if he will stay healthy and hold up physically, not whether he can get guys out.
  • Minor allowed 2 runs, but the bullpen and offense ended up not holding up their ends. Chris Martin, pitching for the third time in four days, retired just 2 of the 4 batters he faced, and Alex Claudio allowed hits to 4 of the 7 batters he faced. I’m inclined at this point to just chalk it up as one of those games for those two...if Martin and Claudio can’t be relied upon this season, there’s going to be problems.
  • Nick Gardewine pitched for the second game in a row, having been called up yesterday to be a warm body to replace Delino DeShields on the roster until Bartolo Colon is added tomorrow. Gardewine appearing twice is inherently a good sign, since he’s up here for mop-up duty. He’ll be heading back to Round Rock tomorrow.
  • Just four hits for the Rangers today — a Joey Gallo single, a Joey Gallo home run, an Elvis Andrus double, and a Drew Robinson home run. The D-Rob home run was, interestingly, off of Chris Devenski, who has been deadly against lefties, so that’s something.
  • Ryan Rua is going to get time to show if he can sink or swim — especially with Delino DeShields out for the next 4-6 weeks -- but he struck out in all three of his plate appearances today, and has yet to get a hit this season. Not the most auspicious beginning to the season for him.
  • Drew Robinson played center field today, with Ryan Rua in left field, and my assumption is that that will be the regular alignment going forward, although there had been talk that Rua might take over in center field. If Rua and Robinson continue to struggle with the bat, I expect we’ll see Jurickson Profar start getting more at bats in left, though there’s no indications I’ve seen thusfar he’s being considered for time in center.
  • Off the Oakland, and the debut of Bartolo Colon, Texas Ranger, tomorrow night. This should be...something.