Two batters into last night's game, the Tigers were up 1-0, Derek Holland had allowed a home run and a line drive single, and I tweeted that the Rangers should go ahead and get the long man up in the bullpen, as it looked like another one of those games (that have been all too frequent of late) where Holland is leaving pitches up in the zone and getting hit hard.
And then, just like that, Holland turned it around. He allowed just two more baserunners the rest of the way -- Miguel Cabrera on a walk and Jhonny Peralta on a single -- while dominating a very good Detroit Tigers lineup. Derek Holland had one of those performances that makes you think that maybe he can be a top of the rotation starter, that he's going to figure it out and mature and start making starts like this with regularity.
Drew Davison's game story highlights Mike Olt's walk-off single, with Ron Washington praising Olt for battling reliever Phil Coke and fouling off multiple pitches until he could get one he could handle.
The game story at the Rangers' website also sings the praises of Olt, as well as Derek Holland, who held his own against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Richard Durrett has his Rapid Reaction at the ESPN Dallas blog.
Gerry Fraley writes about Olt coming through in his first career pinch hitting opportunity.
One of the more mystifying decisions from last night's game was Ron Washington leaving Robbie Ross in the game to face the righthanded Delmon Young after he'd already walked Prince Fielder, then yanking Ross after one pitch. Durrett has a blog post on the bullpen escapades that includes Washington's explanation:
"I wanted Robbie to get Fielder and it didn't happen," Washington said. "I was a little hesitant to take him out because he hasn't really been Robbie Ross and I wanted to give him a chance to get some confidence going. But then when he threw the first-pitch ball, I went to Mike Adams."
That explanation probably makes about as much sense to you as it does to me. And my guess, as an outsider, about why Robbie Ross hasn't really been Robbie Ross lately -- he's been awful over the last week or two -- is that he's fatigued after having logged more relief innings than almost any other reliever in the majors this season. The Rangers probably need to be looking for a lefty reliever this month.
Yu Darvish pitches today, and is hoping to make strides towards getting back to the pitcher he was in Japan.
John Henry has a story about Eric Nadel being inducted into the Rangers' Hall of Fame. Drew Davison has a lengthy Q&A with Nadel, as he talks about how he ended up doing baseball play by play, players that stick out in his mind from his time here, and his most memorable moments.
The S-T's notes talk about Mike Napoli going on the disabled list, Matt Harrison getting over a virus, and Craig Gentry no longer starting, although Gentry says he is healthy.
The Rangers' website notes talk about Harrison, Geovany Soto getting to know the Rangers' pitchers, and Michael Young's hot August.