Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost believes in closer Greg Holland, even if that means no one outside of the organization did before Tuesday’s contest. After back-to-back shaky outings, Holland appears to have turned things around.
Holland blew a save against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 6 after giving up three walks and three earned runs on one hit in 2/3 of an inning. He was able to record a hold the following night against the Phillies, but he allowed an earned run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning. However, what looked to be another nightmare outing on Tuesday night turned into something special.
“He figured something out last night, I think,” Yost told Royals.com.
Holland allowed a hit and walked two batters to load the bases for Minnesota Twins slugger Joe Mauer. What looked to be a dire situation turned into a blessing in disguise, as the right-hander struck out Mauer to secure the win and earn his second save in three attempts this season.
“My mindset was to get ahead so I can use all my pitches, which I haven’t done the last few outings,” Holland said, according to Royals.com “I was so [focused] on getting ahead with my fastball that I haven’t pitched like I pitched in years past, when I would throw any pitch in any count.”
Clearly, taking a different approach against Mauer paid off. Even though Minnesota’s catcher has not been able to post solid power numbers so far this season, he is still a very difficult out to record.
Hopefully, Holland will be able to build off of the earned save and use what he learned the next time he steps on the mound.