The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Can Holland bring Rangers to the World Series?

Can+Holland+bring+Rangers+to+the+World+Series%3F

Unpredictable is the word used to best describe left-handed Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland.

This time last year, in the American League Championship Series, Holland was pitching like never before: zero earned runs, 92 pitches, and 51 strikes in five and two third innings over the course of last year’s series against the New York Yankees. However, Holland’s performance in this year’s ALCS can be cited as further evidence to support the belief that he is an unreliable pitcher. In Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS, Holland gave up three earned runs off of four hits in three innings, needing 76 pitches to record eight outs.

Holland attributes his erratic pitching to various concentration problems.

“The game is at least 80% mental. If you are not focused and prepared mentally it’s going to eat you up,” Holland said. “I have one big inning that always eats me up. We’re trying to figure out what’s making me lose focus in that one inning.”

It’s a problem he’s trying to work out, but Holland knows he can’t allow for one bad inning to affect an entire outing.

“Inevitably you’re going to give up some runs and throw bad pitches. But you have to be able to forget about it and pitch better the next inning,” Holland said.

Positive self-talk and motivation are Holland’s keys to getting back on the right track.

“I talk to myself the whole time I’m out there. If I’m facing Derek Jeter, the guy I can’t get out, I’m saying to myself ‘Alright here we go Derek. Slow down you’re getting ahead of yourself. Take a breather. Step off.’ Sometimes you can see me say it,” Holland said. “Before the inning starts I tell myself to stay within myself, have fun and focus on the target. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Holland, fiercely criticized in the media throughout the season, has to learn to ignore the critics.

“You’re always going to be criticized no matter how good you’re doing or how bad you’re doing. You just have to learn to block it out,” Holland said. “I know what I’m doing wrong, so I don’t need to hear it from the media. I have tunnel vision when I pitch and listen to the media that allows me to completely disregard the negative stuff.”

His success from last year’s playoffs should give Holland reassurance and hope after his deplorable outing Monday afternoon in Game 2.

Holland’s 2010 post-season performance should give him confidence to know how well he can pitch, under pressure, against the best teams in the league, on one of the biggest stages. More importantly, though, it should just give him self-assurance to know that he’s pitched under this much pressure before, and done extremely well.

While he understands the importance of solid pitching in these post-season games, Holland downplays the anxiety and tension that typically come with important games.

“It’s just like any other game. The only thing that’s different is that there’s a lot more media in the clubhouse. Everything else stays the same,” Holland said.

Holland has confidence that the distinctive characteristics of the Rangers put them in good position to win the World Series.

“We have swagger. We carry ourselves very well and we have unbelievable chemistry. I don’t think there’s a team in the league that out hustles us,” Holland said. “You see guys like Michael Young that may hit the ball to the first baseman, but he still is going to bust it down the line to show that he’s still in the game. We really try to outperform you no matter what. And that’s the key to success.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Samantha Wendt, Managing Editor
Initially, the legendary snack cabinet and promise of courtside Mavericks tickets lured Senior Samantha Wendt to the newspaper class. Wendt enjoys experimenting with dessert recipes, and sometimes spends upwards of 6 hours making a decadent dessert. Even more than food, Wendt worships the Dallas Mavericks. She idolizes NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and knows every single statistic and happening within the Mavericks organization. In the 1st grade Wendt alternated between studying the biographies of the first 42 US Presidents and learning Russian. In 4th grade, she progressed to mapping out the rest of her life; she decided to travel to every single country in the world for a year after college, become a spy for the President, take a bullet in the leg for the President which would led to her subsequent two-term election, and become a college professor until she dies. Now, Wendt has made her life plan more achievable, and aspires to join the FBI.

Comments (0)

The Red Ledger values the opinion of its readers and encourages them to discuss its content. All comments are subject to approval by The Red Ledger staff. The Red Ledger does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Comments are reviewed as often as possible. Comments with inappropriate content will not be published. Once submitted, comments become the property of The Red Ledger. To see our full Comment Policy, visit https://www.theredledger.net/about-us/policies/
All The Red Ledger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *