The Magic Of Derek Holland


In case you missed it, here is my conversation with Ricky Keeler from Fansided’s Yanks Go Yard site:

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The reason Ranger fans are so hard on Derek Holland is because of starts like Thursday afternoon against the Yankees; in 9.0 innings of shutout brilliance he allowed 2 walks and 2 singles. That’s it. He finished the matinee rubber match at only 92 pitches — roughly translating to an astonishing 10 pitches/inning rate.

In other words, it was the best start Holland has ever pitched during the regular season, which is saying a decent amount given his track record of standout single-game performances. As for shameless Twitter plugs on my blog, why not? –

Okay, sure, we can’t ignore the fact that Derek Holland was facing a substandard American League lineup, but with Ron Washington utilizing his bullpen at an untenable pace of late, it was massive that Derek Holland chewed up a full day’s worth of pitches to let them catch their breath.

The Rangers only managed to score 2 runs off Yankees’ starter Phil Hughes in support of Derek, but with the way he was cruising on the hill it seemed entirely irrelevant what happened once the Rangers captured a lead.

Jurickson Profar tallied the first run of the game by drawing a walk, and eventually scoring on a weakly-struck Ian Kinsler sac-fly to right-center. The only other run of the game came on a home run … from Profar.

As per usual when Derek Holland is at his best, the Yankee offense was completely at his mercy for the majority of the afternoon, creating a game void of any real drama even despite the small difference New York had to overcome.

There are few aspects of the Rangers that I’m staunch about, but one of those things is Derek Holland. I’ve always been a firm believer in his ability to get Major League hitters out. This one game in New York isn’t the beginning of a new Derek, nor the end of a transient funk he’s been in;

It’s simply who who he is — an extremely gifted pitcher pitching in the prime of his career, fully capable of holding down the #2 spot in the rotation for a World Series-caliber Rangers’ team.

 

 

 

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  • Andy

    Holland can indeed be a frustrating pitcher to watch, precisely because of his high ceiling. He’ll hit it for a few starts, looking as dominant as anyone, and then he’ll have a string of bad ones, too. But when we watch him over a span of great games, we think, “why can’t he be like this every time?”

    I was at the 2011 ALCS game 2. It was painfully obvious from the beginning that Derek didn’t have his good stuff that day. It seemed like a miracle the Tigers didn’t break through for any runs until he gave up a 3-run homer to Ryan Raburn (yeah, really), at which point he was promptly pulled. Then a couple weeks later, he throws the best game any Ranger threw in the playoffs in WS Game 4. We look at those 2 and think, “how can this be the same guy?”

    We can argue about what rotation ranking he should have, but that’s not really that important. What’s important is that he’s having a fantastic year overall, something the Rangers sorely need with so many of their pitchers out.

    Nice piece, as usual.