Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 24, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
Remember just two short years ago when Derek Holland was trying to turn in three straight quality starts for the first time in his career? And it took a couple of cracks at that career landmark for him to be successful? Yes, it most definitely happened, and at the time, it was a fairly big deal for the famously erratic, yet uber-talented lefty.
A quality start, of course, is tallied when a pitcher goes at least six innings and gives up three or fewer earned runs. Those kind of starts were tough to come by for Holland, but not anymore.
Holland is currently in the middle of a streak he hopes to continue for a while longer. In his past 11 starts, he's gone at least six innings. Now, they haven't all been "quality starts" because he's given up four earned runs in four of them, but the others are, and most importantly, Holland has been preserving the bullpen, which is fantastic and dealt with a workload issue around the all-star break. In his last 14 starts, he's pitched into at least the seventh inning in all but six of those.
On Friday night, Holland will look to continue the streak against a struggling Seattle Mariners offense when he'll be opposed on the mound by another of the American League's top pitchers in Hisashi Iwakuma.
Holland has actually been quite a bit better on the road than at home this year with an ERA of nearly a full run higher at home (3.48), but he'll hope he can buck that trend on Friday to continue another.