Skip to content

Why not Derek Holland in Game 7?

Oct 27, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT

Derek Holland Reuters

Thursday’s rainout put manager Ron Washington in a tough spot for his Game 7 starter: should he go with the guy he lined up for the outing, Matt Harrison, or the pitcher who looked far better in his one go against the Cardinals so far, Derek Holland?

Holland’s inconsistency is well noted. He finished tied with James Shields for the AL lead with four shutouts this season, yet his overall 3.95 ERA doesn’t match up to Harrison’s 3.39 mark. Still, Holland was the Rangers’ choice to start Game 2 in both the ALDS and ALCS before his struggles got him pushed back in the World Series rotation.

Holland, of course, threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cardinals in his Game 4 victory. Harrison gave up five runs — three earned — in 3 2/3 innings in losing Game 3.

Washington has already settled on Harrison for the possible Game 7. Here’s to hoping he did actually go and reevaluate the choice and not just make that call because that’s the way he set up the rotation in the first place. It’s certainly a defensible decision.

Holland had five starts during the regular season in which he went at least eight innings and allowed no more than one run. Here’s how he followed those up:

May 24: 4 ER in 4 IP vs. White Sox
June 9: 4 ER in 7 1/3 IP vs. Twins
July 14: 0 ER in 9 IP vs. Mariners
July 20: 7 ER in 5 1/3 IP vs. Angels
Aug. 5: 4 ER in 1 2/3 IP vs. Indians

Holland turned in back-to-back shutouts on July 7 & 14, but that surrounded the All-Star break and he was working on six days’ rest. Even including that outing, he had a 6.26 ERA in his five starts immediately after his best outings of the season.

If it were my call, I’d start Holland anyway. He’s more likely than Harrison to have a dominant outing, and if he doesn’t have it — something that’s usually clear pretty early when it comes to Holland — he can be yanked quickly. Harrison, though, is quite a bit better than he showed in Game 3, and he’ll probably give the Rangers five or six solid innings if allowed to do so.

The other plus in going with Harrison is that it allows the Rangers to put Holland in the bullpen for Game 6 tonight. And if things go well tonight, the Rangers won’t be needing a Game 7 starter anyway.

Latest Posts
  1. Royals designate Bruce Chen for assignment

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Bruce Chen Bruce Chen

    A day after Bruce Chen allowed six runs in the 10th inning of the Royals’ loss to the Twins on Thursday, the Royals designated the lefty for assignment.

  2. Mariners end Jesus Montero’s season

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT

    Jesus Montero Getty Getty Images

    The Mariners have ended Jesus Montero’s season so he can address his “non-baseball issues”, a day after he went after a scout who was heckling him.

  3. Daniel Murphy could miss most or all of the rest of the season

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    Daniel Murphy Getty Getty Images

    The Mets could be without Daniel Murphy for most or all of the rest of the season, as the second baseman deals with a strained right calf.

  4. Joey Votto is still feeling discomfort in his quad

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

    Votto Getty Getty Images

    Joey Votto hasn’t been progressing as well from his quad injury as the Reds would have liked.

  5. The Cardinals activate Yadier Molina

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

    yadier molina getty Getty Images

    He’s in the lineup tonight, batting sixth against the Cubs.

  6. Troy Tulowitzki says he’ll retire before he switches positions

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    Troy Tulowitzki Troy Tulowitzki

    Whether this will turn into a Michael Young situation or a Derek Jeter situation is an open question.

  7. Masahiro Tanaka experiencing “general arm soreness”

    Aug 29, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    No doctor appointments are scheduled as a result, but soreness is not great news.

  8. Mike Trout is the best MVP choice, but . . .

    Aug 29, 2014, 4:17 PM EDT

    mike trout getty Getty Images

    If you’re going to make the same arguments for him you did the past two years, you may want to re-think things.

  9. The Indians sign Russell Branyan to a minor league deal

    Aug 29, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    There can be only THREE!! True outcomes, that is.

  10. Baseball is dying, you guys, because no one would recognize Mike Trout in a bar

    Aug 29, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Mike Trout Mike Trout

    Never mind that the dude has only been legally allowed inside a bar for about two years.

  11. Alleged ice-cream-sandwich-ordering Mariners scout says everyone’s got the story all wrong

    Aug 29, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

    Ice Cream Sandwich

    The plot thickens. And becomes creamier. And is spread nicely between some two thin, chocolate cakes.

  12. Report: there is some major tension between Astros manager Bo Porter and GM Jeff Luhnow

    Aug 29, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT

    astros logo

    Could one or both of them be gone before the 2015 season begins?

  13. Video: Watch a Japanese batter try to hit a 186 m.p.h. fastball

    Aug 29, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Video camera

    Afterwards, the pitching machine talked about wanting to work on his offspeed stuff because all big league hitters can turn on a fastball.

  14. HBT Daily: The rookie of the year races are pretty clear cut

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Jose Abreu Jose Abreu

    The AL it’s clear cut because there is a monster candidate. In the NL it’s because one guys is the least bad of many bad options.

  15. Adam Jones says his favorite place in Baltimore is the airport, so he can fly home

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT

    Adam Jones AP

    Commandment Number One of being a professional athlete: don’t let anyone know you’re not a fan of your team’s city.

  16. Justin Masterson to pitch exclusively out of the stretch for his next start

    Aug 29, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    Justin Masterson Cardinals AP

    Which, in all likelihood, will be his last start for the Cardinals this year.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3651)
  2. Y. Molina (3287)
  3. J. Soler (3012)
  4. D. Ortiz (2404)
  5. B. Colon (2366)
  1. D. Wright (2265)
  2. S. Doolittle (2119)
  3. Y. Darvish (2094)
  4. R. Cano (2027)
  5. T. Lincecum (2008)