Derek Holland on Wednesday afternoon toed the rubber at Globe Life Park in Arlington for the first time since his season debut on April 10. That outing back in April ended after just nine pitches and one inning due to a subscapular strain that required nothing but rest to fix it.
After four months, he returned on Wednesday sporting a Ricky Vaughn hairdo in true Holland, goofy fashion, but his performance in the game was all business.
Holland worked 6 1/3 innings on 93 pitches. He allowed just two runs with the help of a homer, and he struck out six batters while walking none.
Speaking of all business, Holland's skipper was impressed with what he saw in his return from a four-month layoff, as Jeff Banister took a few extra moments to congratulate Holland on his outing when he came and turned the ball over to his suddenly unhittable bullpen.
"You watch the intensity of how he goes about his work in the bullpen — this is a guy that's been on a mission since the last time we saw him," Banister told reporters. "I feel like the concentration level, intent, and complete conviction in all his pitches was a veteran guy who's been out there and done it. He knows what he wants to do. It's not surprising to us. It's nice to see."
Adding that version of Derek Holland to the Rangers' rotation gives this team a really solid group moving forward as they try to chase down the Orioles and Angels in the Wild Card race and the Angels and Astros in the AL West race.