Rangers AM News: Holland Belted, ALDS Tied 2-2


39. 4. 126. Final. 8

The Texas Rangers have allowed all margin for error to evaporate as the ALDS heads back to Toronto for a fifth and deciding game on Wednesday.

Curious was the decision by Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister to start up-and-down Derek Holland against a desperate Toronto Blue Jays club just trying to extend its season. The often injured left-hander needed just two innings and 37 pitches to give up three home runs and an early 4-0 lead for a Blue Jays offense that decided to finally wake up in north Texas.

This time, the Rangers offense was virtually shut down by 40-year old knuckle-ball pitcher A.J. Dickey who became the oldest Major League Baseball pitcher to make a postseason debut.

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Think about that.

Now, this is anybody’s series.

Gone is the magic of Rougned Odor taking over the series almost by himself. Absent, at least at Globe Life Park, was dependable starting pitching. Missing from this entire series, so far, has been Rangers sluggers Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton, at least for the most part.

Injured Adrian Beltre even attempted to play in Game 4, despite the fact that he clearly wasn’t his full self.

In the end, it wasn’t enough as the Rangers fell by a score of 8-4 and will attempt to duplicate their ‘only win on the road’ strategy employed during the 2010 ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, it’s up to staff ace Cole Hamels to bring the goods and show exactly why he was brought to Texas in that huge trade during the summer.

Most importantly, the Rangers offense is going to have to show something quite a bit more than it did against Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman back in Game 2, a win that was probably only possible because the young right-hander couldn’t pitch all 14 innings of that contest.

Fasten your seat belts, this one’s going down to the wire.

Rangers News From Around The Internet

Bannister’s Choice To Start Holland Backfires (Sports Illustrated – Jay Jaffe)

Confusing was Bannister’s decision to go with lefty Holland against a Blue Jays lineup full of right-handed power just waiting to explode in a second-straight elimination game. Not that right-hander Colby Lewis would have ben – or was – a better idea, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of sense to this idea.

Hamels To Pitch Game 5, A Position He’s Never Been In (Dallas Morning News – Evan Grant)

Hamels has pretty much done it all in the big leagues, hence the reason he cost a king’s ransom for the Rangers to acquire after the All Star break. But Game 5 of the ALDS places the World Series MVP in unfamiliar territory.

Stroman To Pitch Game 5 For The Blue Jays (SB Nation – Adam J. Morris)

Stroman looked pretty strong in his seven innings of work in Game 2 of the ALDS, but he’ll have to duplicate that performance to come away with more than just a no-decision. Stroman missed virtually the entire 2015 regular season with an ACL injury.

Beltre Collects Two Hits In Return To Lineup (Star-Telegram – Jeff Wilson)

There’s no more pivotal player in the ALDS between Texas and Toronto than Rangers third baseman Beltre, who returned to the lineup on Monday for Game 4 after missing two games with a strained back. Not only did Beltre return, but he was actually productive. What does the clubhouse leader have to say about playing in Game 5?

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  • Published on 10/13/2015 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 10/13/2015 at 07:07 AM