Okay Rangers fans. There’s your glimmer of hope.
No, not another hapless night at the plate that produced only one run. And not All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre failing to make a play on a hot grounder in the 8th, leading to a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals and the team’s 85th loss of the season.
The rare ray of optimism came shooting from Derek Holland’s left arm.
In his first start of the season because of knee surgery, Holland was relatively brilliant. He gave up only six hits and one earned run in seven innings, far exceeding expectations after a very underwhelming rehab stint in the minors. He didn’t walk a batter, struck out six and threw 70 of his 105 pitches for strikes. His fastball was lively and his location sharp.
In reality Holland shouldn’t have given up any runs. Left fielder Ryan Rua, making his Major League debut as an outfielder, misplayed two catchable fly balls into doubles for a Royals’ run in the 3rd.
It was all fans – and Holland – wanted to see in his first start. And more.
Holland’s debut pushed the number of pitchers used by Texas this season to a record 38 and number of players to a Major League-record 61.
But if Tuesday night was any indication, Holland can indeed return to the form that has made him a solid foundation of the Rangers’ pitching staff. At this point, that’s about as good as the news can get for the Rangers.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.