Derek Holland Makes You Look Silly


At this point, Derek Holland has been an enigma wrapped in a mystery and all that. On the one hand, he can deliver like a top-of-the-rotation monster like in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series. At other times,he looks immature and as if he lacks the constitution to finish at-bats, innings, and games. He displays these characteristics from start to start, and sometimes, from inning to inning. On Saturday night, he pulled off the transformation from frustrating unapplied talent to TORP potential after three pitches. Onpitch number three of the night, Austin Jackson homered. After that, Holland was nearly untouchable.
Because home runs have been the biggest issue Holland has faced in 2012, the leadoff shot by Jackson sent ominous tones of unrest through those watching the game and talking about it on Twitter. Like any good user of Twitter, kneejerk responses abounded about Holland’s ineptitude. Then, as Holland proceeded to make Tigers hitters look silly the rest of the night, he made all of Twitter look silly too.
The following represents the transformation in fan response to Holland’s performance that mirrors Holland’s own erratic behavior. Each set of the below tweets includes one at the time of Jackson’s home run, and one from later in the game from the same person.

Person A: “Really, Derek? REALLY?!?” and “I like to imagine that Nolan Ryan watches Derek Holland pitch with his hand clasped over his face while peering warily between his fingers”
Person A: “Raise your hand if you foresaw Derek Holland going 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H after allowing that lead-off HR in the first inning”

Person B: “Okay, let’s just go ahead and get the long man up.”
Person B: “Derek Holland, International Pitcher of Mystery.”

Person C: “Derek HLoLoLLoLand”
Person C: “Derek is a strikeout machine tonight.”

Person D: “Time to get Roy warming.”
Person D: “Dare I say Derek is pitching better than Justin Verlander?”

Person E: “My initial reaction was to laugh. Keeps me from crying. #defensemechanism”
Person E: “For at least one night: Holland > Verlander”

Person F: “Hahahaha. THIS TEAM SUCKS!!!”
Person F: “Pass That Dutch please. #GoodDutchy”

Person G: “Holland still sucks….”
Person G: “I’ll give you credit derek, it was a good game”

Person H: “First a home run now a base hit. Looks like Holland is giving up 8 runs tonight”
Person H: “Derek Holland is 7 strong innings. O_O”

Person I: “We might need to bring out the L screen Two hitters faced by holland: A jackson hits a two strike home run laser Infante crushes line drive”
Person I: “I think Derek holland listened to my pep talk. 6 up and 6 down since the first two hitters. Rally time.”

Inconsistent player performance can often lead to inconsistent fan reactions. I suppose if a player is going to be held accountable for both the highs and lows, fans should be too. 

Peter Ellwood is a Senior Staff Writer for Shutdown Inning. You can email him at or reach him on Twitter @FutureGM
Peter Ellwood

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