After such an awful start to the Texas Rangers' series in Boston on Tuesday, highlighted by David Murphy's professional pitching debut, winning a series against a good Red Sox team would be a huge statement for the Rangers.
Now, the once-immature, not-serious Derek Holland has a chance to help the Rangers do just that in Thursday's series finale against the Red Sox and their very good left-handed starter Jon Lester, whom the Rangers beat earlier this season in Arlington.
Holland's best start of the season came against these Red Sox back on May 3 in Arlington as the Rangers swept the Red Sox. In that game, the previously erratic, inconsistent lefty went eight scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and one walk to pick up his second win of the season.
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So far this year, Holland has been anything but inconsistent and has perhaps put up better numbers than any other Rangers pitcher, yes, even the great Yu Darvish.
His season ERA now sits at 2.81 with a 5-2 record and 72 strikeouts to just 18 walks and he's gone into the seventh inning in eight of his 11 starts and has only turned in three rough outings, all of which were Rangers victories. In fact, his two losses this year saw him give up three earned runs in seven innings and two runs in eight innings.
So yeah, it might be hard to force the words out of your mouth, but Holland might be better than Darvish this year, minus the lofty strikeout total, a category Darvish is tops in baseball in. He can show that once again with a series-clinching win on Thursday.