After six innings of work and approaching the 100-pitch mark in Wednesday night's game against the rival Los Angeles Angels, a team Derek Holland was 0-2 against this year entering Wednesday's game, it seemed Holland's night would likely be over with his Texas Rangers clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Holland had made one mistake in the game, which resulted in a two-run bomb off the bat of Alberto Callaspo, was scheduled to hit second in the bottom of the seventh inning and the back end of the Rangers' bullpen was well rested. So it seemed like a job well done for Holland.
But there he was, back out in the seventh inning with the game on the line, and he proceeded to retire the Angels unscathed en route to yet another seven-inning, two runs or less outing for Holland, who turned in his sixth straight quality start.
"We needed a great performance and he gave us a great performance," Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters after the game. "We never doubted that he'd bounce back."
Bounce back from a debilitating stomach virus that landed him on the disabled list in July. Bounce back from a string of inconsistent outings over the first half of the season that had become Holland's calling card. You name it, Holland bounced back from it, and he looked like a seasoned vet on the mound on Wednesday, fighting through that one bad inning and giving the Rangers two more solid ones.
"It's a good time to get things going," Holland said. "... I feel like it's my time to get things going. I've got to step up and I feel like I've done a really good job of that this past month."
In case you forgot, Holland has under his belt the best postseason start in Rangers history, when he went eight-plus innings in Game 4 of the World Series last year, shutting out the Cardinals. Could there be more of that on tap in a couple of weeks? We can only hope so.