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)
In six starts since returning from the disabled list heading into Saturday night's start against the Detroit Tigers and their stacked lineup, Derek Holland had struggled to a 2-2 record with a 5.31 ERA.
In his previous six starts heading into Sunday's against that same Tigers lineup, Yu Darvish was even worse, compiling a 1-4 record with a 7.04 ERA with 24 walks to go with his 48 strikeouts.
Both guys were looking to rebound over the weekend, and even more than that, the Texas Rangers were hoping to see them rebound to alleviate some concerns they've had recently in their starting rotation after Colby Lewis' and Neftali Feliz's season-ending surgeries and Roy Oswalt's failure as a starter.
With all that said, this past weekend was very inspiring for the Rangers' confidence in their starting pitching.
Holland got a no-decision on Saturday after giving up a leadoff homer to Austin Jackson then turning in zeroes while going 7 2/3 innings and leaving the game with a 1-1 tie as he went toe-to-toe with Tigers' ace and reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander.
Darvish's outing was not quite as stellar as Holland's, but he did go 6 2/3 innings — just his second quality starts in his previous six — and picked up a win while allowing six hits and three runs with eight strikeouts. He did walk five, which is still a high number the Rangers would like to see come down, but overall it was a good outing for the struggling Japanese phenom.
With Ryan Dempster's great outing in Boston last week and another tonight in the launching pad that is Yankee Stadium, the Rangers will be looking for a third straight solid start to fortify their rotation. And even though it was just one start for each, Holland and Darvish did their part to relieve some concern over the weekend.