Strikeout Decline Not Worrying Holland

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Derek Holland had a decent rebound his last time out against Oakland earlier this week. That outing — six innings, two runs, three hits, one walk, one strikeout — was pretty dang solid. But there was one big red flag.

One strikeout.

According to The Dallas Morning News' Gerry Fraley, Holland worked 11 batters in that game to a two-strike count, and he got one strikeout out of it. There's something wrong with that.

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Yet, Holland doesn't think so.

"I know my strikeouts are low, but I'm not going to worry about it," Holland told the Morning News. "Getting people out is the main thing.’’

While what he said, on the surface, is true, it's really not that simple.

When you work 11 batters to two strikes and fail to get more than one strikeout, you're increasing the likelihood of those batters getting on base by putting the ball in play. It's pretty simple statistics.

That game on Monday marked the second time this season Holland has worked six innings and had one or fewer strikeouts, and it's not typical Holland who entered the year with a career K rate of 7.4 per nine innings. This year, his mark is all the way down to 4.7, which really isn't a sustainable number for a starting pitcher.

That could be — more likely is — a huge reason why Holland could be pitching for his spot in the rotation with Yu Darvish set to return next weekend and A.J. Griffin presumably following soon after.

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