Derek Holland has actually been surprisingly good lately. After a rough patch since returning from the disabled list, Holland has put up very good starts even though the numbers won’t really show it. The only thing plaguing Holland lately (save for his start against Justin Verlander) was one bad inning.
Let’s take a look at how those innings happened.
August 16th vs Yankees – 6th inning – Score: 4-0 Rangers
Ichiro Suzuki singled to third
Chris Stewart grounded out to third, Suzuki to second
Derek Jeter singled to center, Suzuki scored. Jeter to second
Nick Swisher singled to center, Jeter scored
Mark Teixeira struck out swinging
Andruw Jones homered, Swisher scored
Casey McGehee reached on error by Mike Olt, McGehee to second
This was the worst of the bad innings for Holland, by far.
Score after: 5-4 Yankees
August 22nd vs Orioles – 5th inning – Score: 10-1 Rangers
Lew Ford doubled to center
Nate McLouth struck out swinging
Manny Machado struck out swinging
Robert Andino walked
Nick Markakis tripled to right. Ford and Andino scored
J.J. Hardy grounded out to shortstop
This one wasn’t too bad, and the score of the game made it even more irrelevant.
Score after: 10-3 Rangers
August 27th vs Rays – 5th inning – Score: 5-3 Rangers
Desmond Jennings singled to center
B.J. Upton tripled to right, Jennings scored
Ben Zobrist singled to left, Upton scored
Evan Longoria flied out to center
Jeff Keppinger flied out to shortstop
Ryan Roberts flied out to left
A bad start to the inning that could have been a lot worse with what the Rays had coming up. Still, the lead was lost. However, the Rangers came back to win this one as well.
Score after: 5-5
The good news is that the Rangers are 3-0 in these games (Holland is 2-0) and that is encouraging. The numbers for Holland in these games were pretty good. Holland allowed less home runs than he had this season (one in yesterday’s game and one against the Yankees). This is encouraging for the Rangers. I had thought that Holland’s innings were actually worse than they were but I think that was because of the two lost leads. Luckily for the Rangers, they weren’t lost for good.
Having said all of that, it would seem that the second and third time around the order Holland tends to tire or tends to get figured out. However, the positives (getting out of the innings against Baltimore and Tampa Bay, his pitching before the “bad inning” and him giving the team a chance to win) outweigh whatever negatives there are. If the Rangers stop recovering from these innings, however, it would be a completely different story.