Derek Holland returned to the Rangers in winning fashion by tossing 6.1 innings of 2 run, 8 hit baseball -- including 6 strikeouts and zero walks -- and Texas won the rubber match against Seattle 7-2 on Wednesday afternoon.
Per usual, I was working while the game was live, so much of what follows is strictly box score observations...
The two offensive stars of the game were Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus, credited for driving in 6 of the Rangers 7 runs. Mitch went 2-5 with his 18th HR of the season, and Elvis went 2-4 with a solo HR (6) and a two RBI single in the first. The Rangers never trailed on Wednesday.
Mike Napoli went 2-2 with his first HR as a Ranger -- part of a back-to-back-to-back sequence with Moreland and Andrus in the 7th -- and Shin-Soo Choo went 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Lastly, Mr. Holland. There is nothing dramatic about his first start with the Rangers since one inning on Opening Day, but he made it through. That he, and Texas, picked up the victory is just icing on the cake.
I know some bloggers/writers have already said it, but the Rangers are looking at a surprisingly strong rotation over the last 8 weeks of the season. Cole Hamels is Cole Hamels, but a Holland/Perez/Gallardo/Lewis quartet to back him is pretty substantial. No, we can't transport Yu Darvish's arm from circa June 2016 to provide the Rangers perhaps the strongest rotation in MLB, but for where this team is trying to go, they might not need it.