Texas Rangers: John Lester
For some reason, the Rangers tend to swing the bats well when Derek Holland pitches.
That's a trend the 25-year-old lefty would like to see continue in Game 6 of the ALCS, if for no other reason than it provides some margin for error.
Actually, during the regular season, Holland led the AL in run support by nearly a full run over Boston's John Lester, who received 6.86 runs per game.
The Rangers scored 6+ runs in 17 of Holland's starts. How absurd is that? They scored at least three runs in 28 of his 32 starts.
Holland, though, must uphold his end of the bargain by pitching well, something he didn't do in his last start when he lasted just 2.2 innings in Game 2. Scott Feldman saved the day with 4.1 innings of superb relief.
The Rangers need a much better performance from Holland, who is capable of giving it to them. Holland had such an adrenaline rush in Game 2 that he could never settle down and find a rhythm no matter what Mike Napoli or Ron Washington told him on the mound or in the dugout between innings.
It happens sometimes.
The Rangers can't afford for it to happen again.
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.