One small step back for the Rangers. A big one forward for Derek Holland.
Texas lost to the A’s on Monday night, but not because of their lefty starter. After two gruesome starts, Holland turned in a quality start that has us hoping he’s past his hiccup rather than being stuck in a month-long slide.
In consecutive starts against the Blue Jays and White Sox, Holland was unable to get out of the 3rd inning. Those opponents wound up scoring 12 and 11 runs and his ERA ballooned from 2.48 to 6.09. But last night he at least resembled good Holland.
He gave up only two runs over six innings. It was his lack of control that cost him, and his team. In the 4th inning he first hit Billy Burns, then walked Danny Valencia. A couple of soft singles and, just like that, he gave up a couple runs.
Most frustrating was that Holland got five consecutive batters to two strikes, but was unable to put any of them away. He hit Burns on a 1-2 pitch, gave up a single on a 2-2 pitch, walked Valencia after getting ahead 0-2 and allowed a sacrifice fly to Khris Davis after getting ahead 1-2.
“A lot of positives in this start,” Holland said. “One long inning is what killed me.”
Holland’s control is still a concern. So is lack of an out pitch when he really needs it. But considering where he’s been in May, this was a step in the right direction.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.