Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland has been dominant this year, with the exception of two back-to-back poor outings in the first week of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. Unfortunately, after pitching nine consecutive games without surrendering an earned run, Holland blew his first save since April 6.
The right-hander carried a 3.27 earned run average into Monday afternoon’s contest against the Chicago White Sox. With a 1-0 lead, the Royals rightfully called upon Holland to close the door as he has done so many other times this season.
Holland gave up three consecutive singles to lead off the ninth inning. The three hits were followed by a 1-2-3 double play, courtesy of Paul Konerko, that did not allow the White Sox to get a run home. After an intentional walk, Holland surrendered a single to Alexei Ramirez, which allowed Alex Rios to score.
It is hard for Kansas City to get mad at Holland considering how well he has pitched this season. The 27-year-old has recorded seven saves this year, including six in a row. Two of those saves occurred in a doubleheader on April 21 against the Boston Red Sox.
Not to mention, he has improved his ERA from a devastating 16.20 after his second appearance of the season down to 3.75 after Monday’s blown save. The fact that he has been able to bounce back after many fans called for manager Ned Yost to find a new closer after the rough start is quite amazing. Most closers would continue down the bad path, but Holland found a way to rise from the ashes.
It is disappointing that the fourth-year player had a bad outing. However, it is very rare for a closer not to lose control every now and then. The good news is Holland knows exactly how to shake the dirt off and move on to the next game.