Great Scott, Houston!

Hometown rental?

Hometown rental?

Unless you’re a Delta Quadrant citizen, you know that the Houston Astros aren’t just a little bit ahead of their rebuilding schedule, they’re so thick in the thick of this year’s pennant races that you could afford to talk about them in such terms as, “What they need most right now is a starting pitcher who belongs in the front end.” And if the Oakland Athletics were willing to part with one, the Astros weren’t leery about dealing for him Thursday.

Roenicke run, but he wasn’t the Brewers’ problem

The manager usually takes the fall, of course, but Roenicke really took the fall he didn't deserve.

The manager usually takes the fall, of course, but Roenicke really took the fall he didn’t deserve.

The Milwaukee Brewers have thrown out the first manager of the season. And while you expect that when a team starts slowly, you also can’t help wondering how often throwing out the manager is the kind of move made by the general manager who should be measured for execution and just might get it yet.

Ron Roenicke, a graduate of the Mike Scioscia school of coaching, wasn’t the garrulous type fellow alum Joe Maddon is, but he is an acute tactician and handler of players. The problem wasn’t Roenicke’s game thinking or personality balancing, the problem was and is the team he was handed from the outset.

Want to beat the Braves? Easy. Just get them P.O.ed.

Gomez and McCann dance . . .

Gomez and McCann dance . . .

Dig a little further into just what transpired between Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and practically the entire Atlanta Braves team Wednesday night. The deeper you dig, the more you begin to get the impression that the Braves’ idea of enforcing proper field decorum is to look even more stupid than the enemy offender does.

And you may also have fallen upon a big key to beating the Braves out of the postseason in the early going, too. Get them rattled enough over actual or alleged infractions against the unwritten rules, actual or alleged, and they’re yours. Just make sure you don’t get any of your players hurt.

Blanton Does L.A., and other trade tossings . . .

Joe Blanton has a new home in the Philadelphia Phillies’ continuing bid to fine-tune the club for a 2013 comeback: he goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who claimed him off the waiver wire Friday, in exchange for either the proverbial player to be named later or some fresh cabbage from the Dodgers’ crisper.┬áLike his erstwhile-turned-continuing teammate Shane Victorino, who was dealt to the Dodgers as the non-waiver trade deadline loomed Tuesday, Blanton can become a free agent at season’s end.

Go west, young man . . .