Robbie Ross had thrown 37 pitches just the night before. Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers, and Joe Nathan had just completed each of their 4th appearance in the Rangers’ last 5 games before the Rangers continued a road trip that would see the team play 17 games in the next 18 nights.
Derek Holland has always flashed his elite-level talent here and there only to struggle to put together any kind of consistency. His last three starts before Thursday’s masterpiece:
June 11 vs. Cleveland – 4.1 innings, 9 hits, a walk, and 4 earned runs. Rangers lose 2-5.
June 16 vs. Toronto – 6.0 innings, 10 hits (including 2 HRs), 4 earned runs, Rangers lose 2-7.
June 21 vs. St. Louis – Holland bounces back from an awful first inning, but leaves the game after 7 innings having, yet again, allowed 4 earned runs. Rangers beat the Cards 6-4.
So, of course he’d throw a 2-hit “Maddux” (complete game shut-out while throwing less than 100 pitches), the third time he’s accomplished such a feat over his young career.
No, the Yankee lineup on Thursday was not the 1997 version, but if that’s what we’re focused on here, we’re all missing the point. A complete game shutout would’ve been impressive, especially under the circumstances, whether the Rangers had played the Houston Astros on Thursday or Double-A Frisco. The Texas Rangers are currently without 3 members of their rotation, replacing them with a set of rookies that, as of today, have accumulated a total of 38 career starts. Ace Yu Darvish hasn’t seen the 7th frame in two weeks.
Enjoy your day off, bullpen, Dutch took care of this one for you.
More notes on Derek Holland’s clutch outing:
His game score of 88 is tied for his best start of his career. The last time he amount a game score of 88 was August 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, one of his 2 other “Maddux” outings. The other came in Toronto on July 30, 2011.
This was the Rangers 8th all-time “Maddux.” The others were accomplished by Kenny Rogers, Ken Hill, Bob Tewksbury, Kevin Brown (2), Kameron Loe, and Rick Helling.
Derek Holland now carries a record of 6-4 and a 3.14 ERA in 2013 over 16 starts.