"We're not going to be perfect every single time," he said. "That's not going to happen."
Adams was speaking after the Rangers' bullpen transformed into an Albert Pujols' chew toy in the 16-7 World Series Game 3 loss. Sixteen runs ... seriously? That's hard to do in a World Series game.
The way the Rangers starting rotation continues to be historically mediocre this postseason, Adams' words may not have been intentionally cautionary but they are. The Rangers are not in panic mode, but pretty close. Lose Game 4 and this thing will be d-o-n-e.
It's time for Game 4 starter Derek Holland to trust the stuff that he has and turn in the dominant starting pitching performance this team has not had in any postseason game this season. They have to have it.
Other than Colby Lewis' solid outing in Game 2 in St. Louis, the rotation has been a steady diet of Ball Four, just-missed and 5 1/3 innings pitched. With the Cardinals pulling on Alexi Ogando's cape and stomping all over it, the bullpen can't be expected to bail this team out every single night. Mike Adams not only told us that, but the way Game 3 went you can't expect the Rangers bullpen to bail out this team tonight.
Holland, this is on you.
Every time during the regular season we were ready to count this kid out he would turn in some performance that made you say, "My God this kid's got it."
"Holland's got good stuff," Cards manager Tony LaRussa said after Game 3.
Holland does. He's left-handed and can throw it 95 m.p.h.; guys like that don't grow on baseball trees. But it is as if he doesn't always trust it, and rather than attack hitters he leaves pitches at the corner, or gets balls up in the strikezone. The game still affects this guy too much, and he has yet to master the necessity of a very short memory.
"That's the one thing I really wish I can continue to do what (Colby Lewis) does," Holland said before Gmae 3. ""Sometimes I do get caught up in that if I give up a home run. I'm like, 'Man, what the heck?' I gave up a home run and I forget about whoe the next guy is when I should do what Colby does."
The hiccup is is that Holland actually looks younger than 25 ... even with the awful mustache. He said, "What the heck?" The mental aspect of the game hasn't consistently aligned the physical part, which is usually the most difficult aspect. Will the size of Game 4 affect him? How can it not?
"He can't worry about that," Rangers starter Matt Harrison said. "He has to trust the game plan. It's a big game for us tomorrow and he knows that. He knows he has to keep the ball down and make his pitches."
The way Holland has pitched this postseason the first few innings on Sunday night, if he can make it that far, will determine if he can do what the Rangers so desperately need him to do. If he gets out of the first inning sans a run, he will have achieved a lot. If he walks a single hitter, trouble is coming.
I wrote a few months ago that the Rangers didn't need a Cliff Lee because they already had a guy in their rotation capable of being that dominant. The way the rotation was set up, C.J. Wilson was going to be that guy, but the way this postseason has played out that has not been the case. My money, however, was never on Wilson. It was always on Holland.
The Rangers better hope I am right, because as Mike Adams warned us the bullpen can't be expected to be perfect every night.
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