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Rangers Need Holland To Outduel His Old Buddy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Say what you want about C.J. Wilson, who will surely hear his fair share of boo-birds on Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in his first start of the season against his former teammates after signing with the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2012 season.

    One thing you can't say is that Wilson is underperforming this season. He's been one of the game's best pitchers over the last two months, right up there with new Rangers hurler Matt Garza, in fact.

    Another guy who's been up near the top of that list? None other than former Mr. Inconsistency Derek Holland, who has long given Wilson, along with Cliff Lee, credit in helping him develop into a quality big-league starting pitcher.

    On Tuesday night in Arlington, Holland has a chance to get the best of his former teammate in what sets up as a quality pitching duel right up there with the likes of Monday's game between Garza and Angels ace Jered Weaver.

    In his last five starts, Wilson has posted a 4-1 record and a 1.25 ERA. In that same stretch, Holland is 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA and if you go back six starts for Holland you'll see the word "shutout" on his ledger as he held the Yankees to a two-hit shutout back at the end of June.

    In Wilson's career against the Rangers (all in 2012), Wilson is 0-2 in five starts with a bulky 7.65 ERA in 20 innings of work. The Rangers hit .333 against him last year. Of course, that was a different Rangers lineup.

    Holland has been unfortunate this year in regards to run support, but at the moment, all the Rangers pitchers can have a legit gripe about that.

    If Holland can go out-duel his old teammate and the Rangers hitters can get to Wilson early to get to that struggling Angels bullpen, the Rangers could be on their way to a second straight win and some scoreboard watching as the A's and Blue Jays square off late Tuesday night.