In the World Baseball Classic, Texas Rangers‘ pitcher Derek Holland started the United States game against Canada. Most people did not expect this game to be very important, which I would assume is why Joe Torre scheduled Holland as the starter instead of Gio Gonzalez who is the last starter on roster to pitch.
Torre stated that he believed Holland would match up well against the left-handed-heavy lineup that Canada produced led by Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and Michael Saunders.
For a week I have been saying that this argument did not matter due to the fact that Gonzalez was better against lefties.
I especially thought there needed to be a change when this game became a win-or-go-home situation. Once this became an elimination game for America, I really expected Torre to make a change.
I have been questioning the choice to start Holland ever since he was announced, but after how well he did against the very hot Canada lineup, I was proven wrong.
In his five innings, he only gave up two runs on a Saunders second inning home run and left the game with a tie. He really gave the United States a chance to win even though the next pitcher in (Glen Perkins) then gave up a run to leave America behind three to two.
Everyone who watched it knows that it became very interesting and extremely exciting with the US coming out on top 9-4 and Craig Kimbrel closing it out. But a large part of this win can be attributed to Holland keeping the US in the game long enough for the offense to fight back and win.