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Derek Holland's sinker doesn't sink

7/21/2012

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When a sinker doesn't sink, well, there will be problems. They'll come mostly in the form of productive at-bats and towering fly balls and buzzing line drives.

So when Derek Holland's sinker didn't sink Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels, it resulted in a couple of flashy Angel Stadium firework displays and, ultimately, a 6-1 loss for the Texas Rangers.

"It just wasn't sinking," Holland said, shaking his head. "It had no action. It was pretty straight."

Holland (6-5) and catcher Mike Napoli tried to make do, improvising as they went. It caught up with them in the fourth inning when Holland hung a slow curveball to slap hitter Erick Aybar, leading to a two-run double that proved to be the knockout punch. With ace Jered Weaver on the hill for the Angels, it was a mistake the Rangers couldn't afford to make.

"Those guys made contact," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They put the ball in play and swung the bat hard. They did, we didn't."

With a malfunctioning sinker, Holland turned to his fastball against Mark Trumbo during a tough 11-pitch battle in the sixth. Advantage: Trumbo.

Then, an inning later, Holland went to his changeup against rookie sensation Mike Trout and, boom, he sent it to the right field pavilion.

"My main goal is to make sure to compete and keep the game close," Holland said. "I know how good of a pitcher Weaver is, so I had to make my pitches."

But when a pitch won't do what a pitcher wants it to, it probably won't end pretty.