Derek Holland ‘has a lot to prove’ after 2010 World Series

Big League Stew

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers lefthander Derek Holland made two relief appearances against the San Francisco Giants in last year's World Series, but he's under no illusions which one people might remember.

That would be the 9-0 loss in Game 2 at AT&T Park, when Holland entered the contest with one on and two outs in the inning. He left three batters later — walking each man he faced — and was ultimately charged with three of the runs in a seven-run inning that put the game out of reach.

It's here that every Giants fan stops to remember the days when their team was actually able to put up seven runs.

But it's also here that Rangers fans get a bit nervous. Holland will start tonight's pivotal Game 4, a contest that could place Texas on the brink of elimination after Saturday's 16-7 spanking by the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the Rangers bullpen coming off a game in which they threw 117 pitches over 5 1/3 inning, the team really needs a long effort from the 25-year-old. He lately hasn't been throwing deep into games, though. Holland didn't make it out of the third inning in ALCS Game 2 against the Detroit Tigers or the fifth in the Game 6 clincher. In a combined 7.1 innings of work, he allowed seven earned runs.

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Holland, however, says he will put all his previous starts behind him when he takes the hill. That includes last year's stinker against San Francisco. {YSP:MORE}

"I joke about it," Holland said on Saturday. "You know what happened. I went out there, threw 13 pitches, two for strikes, but I bounced back the next time I got out there.

"Now that I'm getting to start, I have a lot more that I want. I really want to win this. I've been there. I got a taste of it, the Giants beat us. I feel like I've got a lot to prove after what happened last year."

"It's something you've got to joke around with because if you let it eat you up, it's going to hurt you more."

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I'm not sure how Rangers fans currently feel about Holland making light of his poor performance, though I'm guessing they'll be just fine with the tactic if he uses it to rebound like he did in Game 4 of the 2010 World Series. String together seven or so or those scoreless innings tonight and the Rangers should be just fine.

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