Holland’s Brilliance Secures Series In Oakland


Derek Holland pitched another gem on Sunday afternoon, compiling 8.0 strong frames of 4-hit shutout baseball. And just as impressively, 10 strikeouts to only 1 walk.

Holland’s Game Score of 82 is, according to the paradigm, his 2nd-best start of 2013; right behind the 88 mark from his 2-hit shutout in New York about a month ago.

But that was just today.

On the season Derek Holland now boasts an ERA just a couple ticks north of 3.00, while his xFIP (3.46) and SIERA (3.67) both say he, more or loss, should continue being a very good starting pitcher.

Most mind-numbing, perhaps, is just how well Dutch stacks up against his Junior Circuit peers in 2013. After Sunday afternoon’s masterpiece, there’s a strong chance Derek will move up into a tie, at the minimum, for 2nd in the American League in FIP-wins (or fWAR), a +4.5 figure Max Scherzer currently occupies.

Consider that Derek Holland is making $3.2 million in 2013. That’s the type of money you pay for a #5 starter; Joe Blanton is earning more than double that ($6.5 million). I hope your mind is as vexed as mine is right now.

In little over 4 months, Holland has generated nearly $25 million in value — and that’s if we’re counting the cost of each Win at $5.5 million, which is probably low — meaning if he didn’t throw another pitch in 2013 the Rangers will have accumulated better than $20 million in surplus value.

It’s players like this that make Jon Daniels & Co. look like geniuses.

Aside Derek’s individual dominance, and my selfish love for pitching, the Rangers did well for themselves to win the damn series in Oakland, earning a game in the standings in the process.

Sunday afternoon may have been the best overall game we’ve seen from Texas in 2013, as Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Elvis Andrus (a couple times) made standout plays in the field.

Offensively, 4 runs will always feel pedestrian being that we’re conditioned for scoring outbursts as Ranger fans. But as I’ve mentioned before, the club doesn’t need to score 5 or 6 runs a game; the pitching staff is capable of making 2 or 3 runs stand up. 4 runs is enough to win most nights, as has been proven from Texas’ .800-plus winning percentage when scoring as many.

Nelson Cruz hit a home run in what will very likely be his last game before being suspended on Monday by Major League Baseball. At this point there’s been nothing definitive in regards to him appealing or not, but with that aside, if it is to be his final game with the Rangers, thanks for the memories, Nellie.

We’ll surely know more by tomorrow.

The Rangers now embark on the softest portion of their 2013 schedule, as they will not play another team with a winning record until September 2nd, which, again, will be in Oakland.