Derek Holland located his fastball down in the strike zone, and he mixed in his off-speed pitches well against Toronto on Friday night. Those were the two keys for him to bounce back from a subpar outing in his last start in which he couldn’t lock down a four-run lead against Houston.
But Holland couldn’t get away from the talk that his new haircut might have had something to do with it, too, as he picked up his first victory since May 10 in the Rangers’ 14-3 rout of the Blue Jays.
Holland decided to get rid of the awful hairdo he has sported since spring training by going with a traditional buzz cut. He cut it himself on Thursday night, but missed a few spots that fellow pitcher Scott Feldman gladly pointed out.
Mike Adams straightened Holland’s hair out before the game.
“When I first came in and everyone saw it, I got a nice roar from my teammates,” Holland said. “I felt it was necessary to do. The hair wasn’t getting many wins, so let’s try something different.”
Said Ian Kinsler on Holland's night: "I think it's the hair. He finally got rid of that stuff, so he can be taken seriously."
Holland, who hasn’t shaved his bad mustache – yet, turned in his best performance of the season. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts.
“Huge improvement from the start before,” Holland said. “I didn’t want anyone panicking because I had one bad start.”
-- Drew Davison