ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 07: Pitcher Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 7, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Derek Holland wasn't as good as the Texas Rangers had hoped he would be in 2012 after giving him a new contract prior to the beginning of the season.
This year, he's emerging to be the pitcher the Rangers thought they were giving a five-year extension to prior to last season.
Even though he seemed off on Tuesday night in a place (Seattle) and against a team (Mariners) he usually pitches really well against and had far from his best stuff, Holland did enough to keep his team in the game against a fantastic pitcher in Hisashi Iwakuma to help the Rangers win a wacky extra-inning game and secure a series victory in Seattle.
The three earned runs raised Holland's ERA to an even 3.00 as he stayed at 9-6 after four straight no-decisions due to the Rangers' habit of not scoring runs for him.
Holland also extended his streak of going at least six innings to 14 games after lasting six innings and giving up three runs. All but three of those 14 starts were quality starts (at least 6 IP and no more than three earned runs) and all but one of his last 12 have qualified.
At five years and $28.5 million, the Rangers could have a fantastic deal for a pitcher who, if this continues, will be a very solid No. 2 starter for years to come. Remember, guys like C.J. Wilson and Anibal Sanchez recently got five-year deals for three times that money.