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Holland Stumbled Early but Stayed Tough

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    Though your Texas Rangers lost to a team it has dominated this season in the Seattle Mariners, there was a positive to take out of the game for Derek Holland and the entire Rangers organization.

    Holland, who's made his name this year by being near the top of Major League Baseball in complete game shutouts, but also lays a big ol' egg every three starts or so, was on a crash course for a bad night on Wednesday.

    The Mariners loaded the bags in the second inning and Holland induced a soft tapper back to the mound for the easy force out at home, but instead Holland couldn't get the ball out of his glove and the Mariners took a 1-0 lead. He got another grounder to Michael Young, who forced the out at home for the second out, and the Holland got a strikeout for the third to escape the inning with minimal damage.

    He trailed 3-0 after three innings but settled down and worked through six on over 100 pitches to hand the bullpen the game in a 3-3 tie.

    It was far from the best start of the season for Holland, but it was also far from the worst after it appeared it might rank up there for a while, and the way Holland performed after the poor start and showed some maturity had to be a good sign for Ron Washington and Nolan Ryan and everyone else in the front office.