ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers starter Derek Holland spent at least 15 minutes talking with Michael Young before Saturday's game. They apparently broached a number of subjects, including some non-baseball items.
But Holland has been seeking out some of his teammates in an effort to learn more about what the hitter is thinking and also how to approach preparation and the game itself. It's helped him to do a better job of staying even-keeled through the lows of the season -- and they've been pretty low at times with two outings of less than two innings -- and the highs -- and they've been pretty high with four shutouts.
Young said his main message to Holland is: "Keep believing."
"The biggest thing is the good players in this game just believe," Young said. "That never wavers. They are confident and they trust themselves. People always say, 'What comes first? Confidence or success.' I think that's the stupidest question I've ever heard in my life. If you don't have any confidence, you're not going to have the success in the first place. So if you're confident and ability, you're going to find ways to be productive."
Holland says he still has that confidence, but that he didn't pitch to his capabilities on Friday. He started his outing with 13 straight fastballs and gave up three runs in the process. He was trying to establish the fastball, but in the process didn't adjust quick enough when things weren't going his way.
"My fastball was up and I kept living up in the zone," Holland said. "I felt like I had a good fastball, but I kind of got caught up in it. It wasn't me being me. But at the same time, I pitched a great game against Cleveland before and they were waiting to get back at me. It's a good swinging club right now."
Holland said he thought he could get by with the fastballs and just wasn't able to do it. He couldn't keep the ball down in the second, either, and that meant for a short night. That's two starts this season where he hasn't made it out of the second inning and another that lasted just three innings.
"It's frustrating, but I'm not going to sit and dwell on it," Holland said. "It happens. It's how baseball is. My main thing is to be consistent. Obviously, that wasn't a consistent start but it's all about how I bounce back. That's how become a real pitcher is bouncing back after an outing like that."
* Scott Feldman had tape on his right thumb after the blister was drained after he came out of Friday's game. He played catch and said if he had to, he could pitch with it the way it is now. He's not expected to be available until Monday anyway, so he has some time to rest things.
* Darren O'Day has arrived and has a full beard. And I mean a full beard. He's here to take the spot of Alexi Ogando while Ogando is on paternity leave. O'Day said he's been pitching consistently at Triple-A Round Rock and that his fastball and slider have been where he wants them. "It was a matter of getting everything back and getting used to pitching consecutive days," O'Day said. Washington said he can use O'Day for multiple innings with bullpen taxed on Friday.