Derek Holland Ups His Game
A lot can happen in a few days, and in sports, thats more true than anywhere. The first time Ron Washington brought Derek Holland into a postseason game, the young pitcher was so unnerved by the whole experience that he trembled when he took the ball, and his results reflected as much.
My, how he has grown up in the last 10 days.
On Tuesday, when starter Tommy Hunter struggled again, Washington went to Holland in a far more hostile environment. There were 49,977 fans at Yankee Stadium screaming. The bases were loaded. The Rangers were in danger of losing whatever advantage they had gained in the AL Championship Series the night before.
All he did was calmly squelch two different Yankee rallies, while the Rangers offense awakened and started raining down home runs on the defending world champions.
When it was all done, the Rangers had a 10-3 win, with Holland getting the decision and Texas standing one win from the first World Series in the franchise's history.
Oh, and if the Rangers can close out the Yankees, Holland might just find himself back in the starting rotation for that World Series. After all, he's pitched more innings than Hunter in Hunter's two postseason starts. Hunter has gone 7 1/3 ; Holland 7 2/3.
"He did an excellent job," Washington said of Holland's 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball Tuesday. "We needed him to come in and neutralize their best left-handed hitters. Derek settled things down so we could get in the flow offensively."