Derek Holland went on the disabled list exactly one month ago, but he returned to the rotation tonight and did everything he could to stop the losing streak at five.
Holland pitched well, even if he did look a little bit uncomfortable on the mound.
Going into the game, I thought that a 5-inning, 4-run performance was realistic. Holland did just a tick better than that, going 6 complete innings and giving up only 3.
Samuel Deduno, Holland’s Minnesota counterpart, gave up 3 runs of his own and the score was tied 3-3 going into extra innings.
The Ranger offense wasn’t lacking in opportunity, but the big hit eluded them. They failed to plate a run with two in scoring position and one out in the 5th. They also left the bases loaded in the 7th. All told, they stranded 10 runners on base and were 1-for-8 with RISP.
Nelson Cruz came through in the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off double, though the winning run wasn’t even in scoring position at the time. Adrian Beltre lumbered all the way around from 1st as Josh Willingham bobbled the ball for just long enough.
Baseball is a funny game sometimes. (A lot of the time, actually.)
Also of note…
- This is (hopefully) a performance that Holland can build off of as he tries to get back into a rhythm. To me, his first half was a not entirely unexpected disappointment, so I’d like to see him turn it on after the All-Star Break.
Six innings of 3-run, 6-hit, 2-walk, 4-strikeout ball is a good place to start.
- Tanner Scheppers pitched .2 innings and gave up 2 hits. Robbie Ross cleaned up Scheppers’ mess, then gave up 2 walks before getting out of his own mess in a scoreless 8th. Joe Nathan came in to preserve the tie in the 9th and then preserved it further in the 10th before becoming the winning pitcher.
- Deduno was making his first ever Major League start at the age of 29. He pitched well, but not well enough to get the win.
- A lot was made of Ron Washington shaking up his batting order just a bit. Michael Young has manned the 5-hole pretty much all year, but was bumped to 6th in favor of Nelson Cruz.
Cruz only went 3-for-5 with 2 doubles. He also drove in the first Ranger run and the last Ranger run. MY went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a GIDP.
- Between Cruz’s 2 RBI, Josh Hamilton and Beltre each had a solo homerun. Cruz almost had a HR of his own in the 8th, but it sliced foul by mere inches.
Jamilton had his solo shot, which was nice to see, but he also walked once and made very (very!) solid contact in his 4 official at-bats.
- Texas wore their 1994 throwback uniforms tonight, which were the first uniforms that I really remember from my childhood. They have a classic feel and actually made me realize that I’m not the biggest fan of the current Ranger unis.
There’s nothing about them that really stands out. They’re just sort of blah.
It won’t be hard for Roy Oswalt to top his last performance, as he takes the hill tomorrow night at 6:05 Arlington time on FSSW. Hopefully Texas can go into the break with a series win.
Press on, Rangers fans.