For the second straight outing, Rangers lefty Derek Holland was absolutely awful.
The bad news? It came in a big game for the Rangers, as the Astros closed the gap in the AL West to 1 1/2 games after Holland allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings. The good news? We've seen Holland pitch mostly great since returning from the disabled list in mid-August, and he's vowing to do the same in his next start against the Astros in Houston on Saturday.
"I'll be ready for Houston," Holland told the Dallas Morning News. "I can guarantee that."
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The good thing from the Rangers' perspective is that Holland appears to be fine physically and not in any way bothered by the shoulder strain he suffered in the season's opening week that sidelined him for four months.
"I'm not tired, that's the last thing I want to hear," Holland said. "I felt good. I feel good. I just didn't throw the ball very well. I'm not very happy with it. I'm supposed to be a guy that they can count on. There are no excuses. I've just got to get back to being me."
Before his last two starts, against Houston and Seattle, Holland had a run of five starts after returning from the DL in which he went 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA and tossed a complete-game shutout against Baltimore with 11 strikeouts and no walks. If he can get back to that, the Rangers will be just fine.