Derek Holland pitched well in his World Baseball Classic start against Canada. For a WBC start at least. Obviously with the weird pitch counts and different rules that come into play during the WBC the definition of a well pitched game changes.
Another big change that makes the definition of good go out the window is the lineups. Some may say that Holland will not see a lineup as good during the regular season because he won’t see Joey Votto, Justin Morneau and Michael Saunders back to back to back.
But the way I choose to look at it is that Canada was one of the weakest lineups Holland will see (other than the Houston Astros) this entire season. Why? Because Holland will not face another lineup consisting of just three major league hitters again.
Holland threw five innings and gave up only two runs. Both of which came on a Saunders second inning home run. Thats a fine outing but when you have a total of six plate appearances against major league hitters, it kind of dilutes it.
It is encouraging that Holland made it five innings throwing less than 65 pitches, but again, against what I consider to be equivalent to a minor league lineup.
If this is what the Texas Rangers should be expecting from a man who they need to pitch well for this team to win, they are not going to win. From watching the game I can say that Holland did not look that sharp, and put up against a real lineup would have struggled.
The Rangers need Holland to pitch well this season, and this start does not prove to me that he will.