Derek Holland to start Rangers' Game 2

Updated: September 28, 2011, 6:53 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington made it official on Wednesday that Derek Holland will start Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday, whether that's in Texas against Boston or Tampa Bay or in Yankee Stadium.

C.J. Wilson is the club's Game 1 starter.

Holland packed his bags and took a cab to the airport to fly to Texas and get some rest. He'll then wait to see if he needs to fly to New York.

"It's just like a regular start," Holland said. "I still have to go out there and make my pitches. I know the games are more important now, but I still have to stay focused and not let the pressure get to me."

Holland is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in his final six starts. He has quality starts in five of the six with opponents batting just .206 against him. Holland has 41 strikeouts and 12 walks and has benefitted from 10.30 average runs of support.

Holland had a memorable postseason in 2010 for a variety of reasons. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in two ALCS games against the Yankees, including 3 2/3 innings in Game 4 in Yankee Stadium. He earned the win in that game as the Rangers took a 3-1 series lead, eventually winning in six games. But he also threw 13 pitches in Game 2 of the World Series in San Francisco and 12 of them were balls, leading to three walks and a quick exit.

All of those experiences simply motivated Holland to get back into the rotation and stay there this season. He's found a level of consistency recently that was missing in his previous 2½ seasons.

"The last few months have been huge for me," Holland said. "Just talking to my teammates and learning things. I was able to bounce back from tough situations and innings this season and mature."

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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