A couple days ago, Derek Holland was on the radio talking about how his season ended, being asked to dredge up the shipwreck that was Game 3 of the division series against Toronto when he gave up six earned runs after what seemed like just two batters.
“I didn’t do my job,” Holland admitted. What Holland seems to lack on his radio interview is what he lacked on the mound that day—confidence.
He ended the 2015 season exactly the same way he ended 2013. Scared. In both seasons, a line drive nearly decapitated him, and in both seasons, from that point on his season derailed. Instead of pitching aggressively, he started pitching for self-survival. He would throw a pitch then immediately throw up his hands to cover his face. He was no longer pitching to get outs; he was pitching to get out of the inning alive.
Maybe all he needs is another dose of self-confidence. So, here is a re-post of his first start of the season on August 19 after coming back from four months worth of shoulder injuries, a game in which he was masterful.
If only he could rediscover this Derek Holland in the offseason.
They call Derek Holland the Dutch Oven.
After watching him pitch yesterday, perhaps a more appropriate kitchen gadget-based nickname would be the Blender.
Holland made his first appearance of the mound yesterday afternoon since tossing a single inning in a start here on opening day in April 10.
Pitching on four month’s rest, he was pretty masterful.
Going by the radar gun reading flashed on the screen after every pitch, it appears Holland kept it simple. He threw three speeds.
One, a fastball that was mostly around 92 MPH.
Two, a change up that sat at 82.
Three, a breaking ball at 76 MPH.
And all he did was mix it up all day to keep the Mariner’s hitters off balance.
Crush. Chop. Puree.
Chop. Puree. Crush.
Puree. Crush Chop.
He was a three-speed blender out there.
The only real trouble he got into was in the sixth when three singles loaded the bases. But, then, he put it on puree, got Franklin Gutierrez to chop into a double play that scored a run, and that rally was over.
Crush. Chop. Puree.
The Mariners hitters were turned to mush.
The Rangers rotation just got a whole lot better for the stretch run.