Holland's early-season dominance continues
“He’s really been locked in,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s been using all his pitches, keeping the ball down; he’s been moving it around the zone. The good thing about him is he’s been getting three outs. Derek used to have trouble getting that third one, but he’s found a way to get it.”
Washington was happy to see Holland settle down after a 27-pitch first inning in which three of the four batters he faced forced him to toss at least seven pitches.
Holland didn’t allow a bitterly cold evening -- the temperature was 39 degrees and dropping, with a slight breeze coming in from the Chicago lakefront -- to deviate from his game plan.
“You just gotta go out there and go after the hitters,” Holland said. “We both gotta battle it; to use the cold as an excuse is terrible. [Cubs starter Travis Wood] has gotta pitch in it, I gotta pitch in it. We just gotta make our pitches, that’s the main thing.”
Holland wasn’t about to come into Tuesday’s game overconfident against a Cubs lineup that has struggled mightily against left-handed starters.
“I never use that as an excuse, because anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” Holland said. “It doesn’t matter how bad you are against one guy. I look at it as if I go out there and do my job, it’s gonna be hard for them. That’s what I want to do, make it as hard as possible for those guys.”
After Holland shut them down, the North Siders' line dropped to .144/.202/.216 when a southpaw starts.
A hot start from Yu Darvish has given the Rangers an impressive one-two punch with Darvish and Holland at the top of the rotation. It’s a welcome sign for a team that has been known for its bats during its recent playoff run over the past three seasons.
“We want our pitching staff to be recognized, because [the team has] always been known for hitting,” Holland said. “So our job is to go out there and do what we can as a pitching staff.”
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