Texas Rangers

The Tease That is Rangers Pitcher Derek Holland Continues, Escalates

One night he's Sandy Koufax; the next Sandy Duncan. For two starts he's Kate Upton; then last night we get a heaping, hideous dose of Kate Smith.

More? No? Get the picture?


Because when it comes to Rangers' starter Derek Holland, you never know if you're getting beauty or the beast. After consecutive complete-game shutouts in which he baffled and dominated the lowly A's and Mariners, Wednesday night Holland couldn't hold a five-run lead in a 9-8 loss to the Angels that snapped Texas' 12-game winning streak.

Mostly because he couldn't throw a fastball for a strike, Holland surrendered seven earned runs in 5.1 innings. Reliever Tommy Hunter didn't help at all, but Holland's frustrating performance was another indication that the 24-year-old is on the verge of greatness, but mentally not quite ready to take the next step toward stardom.

It appeared he steadied himself with an scoreless, eight-pitch 5th that consolidated Texas' early offense.

But Holland couldn't get out the 6th inning, one in which the Angels eventually put up six runs to erase an 8-3 deficit. An infield single to Mike Trout was the killer, and Holland can't be totally blamed for that one.

At this point Holland is one big talented tease.

Just when we think he might throw a third straight shutout and channel Charlie Hough, he gives up a season-high runs and we get a Holland that is more, well, an entertaining yet annoying and ultimately unfulfilling Charlie Sheen.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt