Pitching Leads Astros Past Pirates 4-1

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Jimmy Paredes #38 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Brian Bogusevic #19 after scoring against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on September 6, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Astros defeated the Pirates 4-1. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Do you know the biggest reason the decision not to trade Brett Myers and instead give him contract extension sticks in fans' craw?

We'll get back to that in a minute. Certainly, Myers pitched very well in this game, shutting down the Pirates into the eighth inning. He struck out six and allowed just one run. If you look at Myers' season, it hasn't been nearly as bad as you'd think. Yes, the ERA and FIP is high, but that's due to a very high home run rate. His expected FIP this season isn't much different than last. That doesn't mean Myers is worth a big contract, but he is eating up innings and providing the production of a middle-rotation starter.

The reason Myers should have been flipped when he was at his most valuable last summer was also staring Houston in the face in this game. Their names are Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes. Both players had big games, as Shark moves closer to saving his 20th game and Paredes keeps on hitting.

When the Astros traded Lance Berkman last summer, it was almost as an afterthought. The haul they got back was pretty underwhelming, but has proven to be much more effective so far than the Brett Myers trade. We have no idea how Paredes will hold up long-term, but unlike Brett Myers, his defense will keep him on the field even if his bat cools off. And as far as Melancon goes, I'm not a fan of trading for relievers, but he's been one of the few strengths of the bullpen this season.

It's looking like Berkman fetched two solid major leaguers, even if neither have a chance to be as big a star as he was. Imagine if Houston had gotten a couple players for Myers...

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