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)
Over his career, there hasn't been a team, other than the Boston Red Sox, that Derek Holland has owned as much as the Cleveland Indlans.
The lefty from Newark, Ohio — about 130 miles from Cleveland — has had some of the best starts of his career in Cleveland with his friends and family in attendance and in his five career starts against the Indians he has given up just 11 runs, which ties the Tribe with the Red Sox for the fewest runs scored off Holland in at least five career games.
He'll have a chance to keep that streak going tonight when the Texas Rangers finish off a three-game home set with the Indians, looking to pull off the three-game sweep.
Holland has pitched very well in his last four starts, including his last time out which was an 8-inning loss to Tampa Bay when he gave up just one run on two hits and had 11 strikeouts. Holland, who was one of the best pitchers in the game over the second half of last season, had a rough start to the year and a trip to the disabled list after a weird stomach virus led to him losing a bunch of weight and consequently hurting his arm. But he's starting to resemble the pitcher we saw over the second half last season, when he ended up making the best postseason start in club history in Game 4 of the World Series.
If Holland continues this trend upward, it will only give the Rangers more confidence in him heading into the postseason, where he could realistically finish anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4 in the postseason pitching rotation pecking order.