ARLINGTON, Texas -- At first it seemed like he had turned the corner. Derek Holland had thrown three hitless innings and was mowing through the Los Angeles Angels lineup. Even after Albert Pujols blasted a solo-home run in the fourth inning, all did not seem lost. But it was a two-home run sixth inning that proved Holland's undoing as the Texas Rangers dropped their second straight to the Angels, 6-2, on Tuesday night.
“It’s very frustrating. I’m out there giving it everything I have, things just aren’t going the way I want them to," Holland said. "But at the same time, you can’t just give in because things aren’t going your way. The main thing is I felt really good about my start. I did do what I needed to do. If I had to take anything back, I’d just take a couple pitches back."
Holland went 6 2/3 innings and allowed five hits, six runs (four of which came on the homers) and five strikeouts. He had 1-2-3 innings in the first, second and fifth and got out of the fourth inning with a 1-4-3 double play. So one could certainly make the case that if you only take away Holland's season-high three home runs, he had a solid start.
But unfortunately, there are no redo's in baseball.
Without a doubt, the sixth inning hurt Holland the most. He walked Chris Iannetta leading off from the nine-hole to set up Mike Trout for a 412-foot two-run homer. One out later, Pujols launched his second consecutive solo shot. The walk to Iannetta was one of four for Holland on the game, another season high.
“Just making mistakes at the wrong time," manager Ron Washington said. "In the sixth inning there, the only thing I disliked from Derek was the walk. I thought the ball was down on Trout; he went down and got it. You’ve got to give him credit for that. But it was the walk. He had Albert 0-2 and he tried to go high but he got that. One inning, just one inning. If we can get to the point where we can minimize the damage in that one inning, then things will work out.”
“I was very upset with myself," Holland said of his walk. "I should have gone on the attack and I got a little too fancy out there. I’m very frustrated with the way that I came out.”
Holland has struggled against the Angels both times he's faced them this year. In his last start, he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits (two home runs), six runs, a walk and no strikeouts. To add insult to injury, Jered Weaver shut down the Rangers on the other side in both of Holland's starts. Holland insists that the two games are not related.
“I definitely don’t think so," He said. "It’s not the same thing out there. They just got a couple home runs. This is the big leagues, so you have to give them credit for hitting mistake pitches and I have to make a better pitch next time.”
Whether the games are related or not, Holland has had a problem with home runs lately. Tuesday was his third straight start to permit multiple home runs after allowing more than two homers in just three of his first 13 starts. Still, Holland said he deosn't want to dwell on that stat.
“We’ve got to worry about tomorrow’s game," He said. "A couple pitches got away, but this is a good ball club over there. They’re going to hit your mistakes, so you just got to go out there and make your pitches. Today they got us, they got us yesterday, but we can’t sit and worry about the past.”