Derek Holland will face the Los Angeles Angels and Jered Weaver on Tuesday night in Arlington, a game that Holland acknowledges is pretty big as far as baseball in July goes. After their victory over Texas in game one of the three-game set on Monday, Los Angeles is a half-game back of Oakland and four back of the Rangers in what is an increasingly competitive A.L. West race.
“We know how big this series is," Holland said, per ESPN Dallas. "It’s our rival. We’ve just got to go out there and play Texas baseball.”
The encouraging news for Rangers’ fans is that Holland has been impressive since returning from shoulder fatigue on July 7, going 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA. The less encouraging news is that Holland’s only bad start (and only loss) in this span came against the Angels back on July 20. In that start, Holland went 6 2/3 innings, surrendering nine hits, six runs and two home runs.
But Holland remains confident in his stuff going into Tuesday night’s showdown with the Angels’ ace.
“I feel like I’m all right," Holland said. "I’m just going to keep things the way they are, go out and make my pitches. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. I know what I need to do. I’ve already told myself that I need to step up and I’ve said it several times. I need to step up with the way things have happened with injuries and everything else.”