ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 5: Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitchin the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 5, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
The hallmark of Derek Holland's career as a Texas Ranger has long been inconsistency. He's ace-like in some starts and then if he gets off to a bad start or doesn't have his best stuff, you're liable to see him exit in the second or third inning.
But the comedic lefty is starting to buck that stereotype, and he showed it once again on Thursday in the Rangers' walk-off 6-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox. But it wasn't really Holland's fault.
The Dutch Oven, as he's affectionately known, turned in a quality start, leaving after six innings and holding on to a 3-2 lead, and he gutted his way through it without his best stuff, getting out of jams in just about every inning of a high-stress outing.
Holland threw 115 pitches in what was his ninth quality start in 12 outings this season and kept his ERA well under 3.00 at 2.82 and showed that even when he's not at his best, his average or below average stuff is good enoguh to keep his team in games.
Holland has grown up a lot this year, and it's starting to become more than a small sample size.