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Baltimore came to Arlington to make up a game that had been rained out earlier in the season. The Rangers swept the one-game series for their seventh win in a row.


Originally published June 21, 2016.

Three starts ago, Derek Holland gave up five earned runs in five innings against Seattle, leaving the game trailing 5-1. The Rangers would rally late but fall short 7-5. Holland earned the loss.

Two starts ago, Derek Holland gave up four earned runs in three-and-two-thirds innings and left the game down 5-0 to Oakland. The Rangers eventually tied it, went ahead, then won 7-5. Holland got a no decision.

Last night, Derek Holland gave up nine hits and three earned runs in four-and-a-third innings. He left the game with a 4-3 lead, but was too unpredictable, and had too many runners on base, to get through five to qualify for the win. Holland got a no decision.

The Rangers won last night despite Derek Holland’s poor start. Despite his erratic ninety-one pitches in less than five innings. Despite giving up a total of fifteen hits to Baltimore. Despite allowing base runners in every single inning, and runners left on base in every single inning.

Fortunately the Rangers are playing so well right now, they can unDerek what Holland does to them.

After being in an early 3-0 hole, Ian Desmond homered in the third. And, in the fourth, Bobby Wilson hit a sacrifice fly and Shin-Soo Choo got a two-out single to drive in two. And the Rangers had their seventh win in a row, their longest winning streak of the season.

They have now swept two series in a row. The three-game series from St. Louis and the one-game series from Baltimore.

But what last night confirmed, other than it’s tough to beat the Rangers right now, is that Derek Holland is two pitchers.

Good Derek has been very good, throwing seven quality starts out of fourteen. In those seven starts, Good Derek has pitched forty-four and two-thirds innings, allowing ten runs, for an ERA of 2.01.

Bad Derek has been very bad. In seven starts, Bad Derek has pitched twenty-eight innings, allowing thirty-two runs, for an ERA of 10.29.

You never know which Holland is going to show up. That makes it fun. Like getting-audited-by-the-IRA fun. Like sudden-root-canal- surgery fun.

You can’t even say, “Boy, that Derek Holland’s not half bad.”

Because, statistically, he is exactly half bad.