- So, Texas spent the better part of Tuesday night humiliating the Red Sox at Fenway, 18-3. They belted six home runs in the process, including three in the eight inning off of a familiar face to Astros fans:
- Yeah, that about sums up the Rangers win over the Red Sox on Tuesday, something that was much less baseball game and more ax murder.
And yet, this is exhibit A as to why fans of the Astros should be glad: They sent Melancon, a good but not great reliever who picked up a 20 saves last year while not being nearly as automatic as one might want from a closer.while not being nearly as automatic as one might want from a closer, to the Red Sox for Jed Lowrie, a switch-hitting shortstop who is an offensive upgrade on Clint Barmes with a comparable glove, and Kyle Weiland, their fifth starter.
On paper, it was a good trade. Through the lens of the first two weeks of the season, in which none of the three players involved have been great but the two the Astros got have been adequate, it looks like a steal for Houston.
Melancon's ERA entering Tuesday's game? 22.50 in three appearances with a WHIP of 3. After? Over 49, and his WHIP doubled to 6. Melancon has made four appearances this year, and he's given up a run in all four.
And THAT player could have been the Astros closer this year. Yikes!
- But this kind of gets to what Bobby Valentine said the other day. The new manager in Boston touched rang the dinner bell for the voracious Boston media when he was critical of Youkilis the other day, and for a while it seemed the former long-time Rangers manager and ESPN blowhard was off base. Now ... not so much.
It's clear Youkilis isn't giving it his all. Is it so wrong for a manager - who entered a clubhouse that was nailed to the wall for quitting at the end of last season, mind you - to lay into his charges when he thinks they are dogging it?
Maybe saying it to the media was the problem? After all, that was Curt Schilling's problem with the whole matter.
But how does it take away from the play on the field. Manager sees something, says something about it to the media. Maybe Valentine thought the only was he was going to get through to Youkilis was to do something out in the open.
It seems, much like last year, there is something wrong with the Red Sox clubhouse, and it's derailing their season in April instead of September.
- But, I'm getting off base. The Rangers spent the whole game picking on Jon Lester and the band of mediocre relievers that followed him on Tuesday. It goes without saying: Texas has the best band of professional hitters in MLB, and that's by a wide margin. No one is comparing to their ability to harass even the best pitchers right now.
Jon Lester is not a slouch of a pitcher. Fried chicken, beer and a month of crappy outings from last year notwithstanding. He's been one of the better pitchers in the AL since 2008, and that hadn't changed through two outings this season.
The Rangers made him work for everything, and most pitchers aren't going to be up to that task. Lester certainly wasn't tonight, and neither was the Red Sox bullpen.
Which leaves me to ask, which team really is?
- One last side note ...
- Jamie Moyer finally picked up a win this season. At 49 years old. He is now the oldest player to win a game in MLB history.
To add some context to this: I was 14 months old when Jamie Moyer pitched his first game for the Cubs on June 16, 1986. The Chernobyl disaster happened two months before. People still took Geraldo Rivera seriously.
Dude is old. But he gives a good lesson to a lot of high school and college age pitchers: Stuff fades, but intelligence does not.