ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 31: Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 31, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Derek Holland has yet to find the form that made him one of the best pitchers in baseball over the second half of last season.
Instead, he's back to his herky-jerky self, the guy that goes four innings one outing and then turns around and goes eight the next. If that form holds true, he should be lights out against the Orioles and his former teammate, Tommy Hunter, tonight.
Holland last just 5 2/3 innings after a fantastic start to the game in The Bronx in his last outing. He did have some bad luck with some shaky defense behind him but the results were still not what he wanted even though the Rangers eventually beat the Yankees.
The start before that was brilliant, as he went 7 2/3 innings against a loaded Detroit Tigers lineup with nine strikeouts and one walk while giving up one run — a leadoff home run from Austin Jackson. He matched Justin Verlander pitch for pitch and ended up with a no-decision as the Rangers won in walk-off fashion.
With September on the horizon, now is the time for Holland to dig down deep and find whatever it was that made him click as a consistent starter last season. He can start that trend against the Orioles tonight.