FEBRUARY 24, 2009: A clean cut Derek Holland in his first team portrait for the Texas Rangers.
Diarrhea. It is, in fact, the great equalizer. So much so that it apparently was the cause for Derek Holland's seemingly unexplainable start last time out against Seattle when he rolled through the first inning and then promptly gave up eight runs while recording two outs in the second inning before an early exit.
It reared it's ugly again on Tuesday, as Holland cruised through the first four innings of the Rangers' 5-3 win over the Oakland A's before he started getting weak and lost 8-10 mph on his fastball before being pulled in the sixth as his fastball was barely hitting the upper 80s.
After the game, Holland explained his situation, as he claims he's lost 10-15 pounds in the last two and a half weeks.
"Am I allowed to say it," Holland said with a pause, "diarrhea?"
Yes, you're allowed to say it. During the game, it was a very concerning thing we watched as he struggled to hit 90 mph and then just couldn't after getting up to 96 mph earlier in the game. It was a big red flag that had the Twitterverse speculating of possible arm trouble and a trip to the DL coming soon. That would've been disaster with Neftali Feliz on the DL already and the contingency plan there not going so well right now.
Ron Washington made two trips out to the mound to visit his young starter on the night before finally yanking him in the sixth.
“He got a little weak toward the end there,” Washington said after the game. “He started getting the ball up. Once you start raising the baseball after keeping it down all day it becomes easy for hitters.”
Anyway, disaster averted. Nothing a little Pepto can't fix*.
*This is not an endorsement.