Derek Holland's sinker doesn't sink
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.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.