Rangers left-hander Derek Holland pitched a four-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays for his fourth shutout in his last 11 starts.
He matched Cliff Lee for the major league lead with four shutouts this season, and he has as many shutouts in two months as possible Hall of Famer Andy Pettitte did in 16 seasons.
Even with all of his recent success, Holland has a 4.14 ERA for the season. He’s allowed five earned runs or more in seven of his 22 starts.
Still, today’s performance should make him pretty close to untouchable in trade discussions (supposedly, the Padres have asked for him in the Heath Bell talks). Holland is just 24, and he has the stuff to shut down any offense when he’s on. His inconsistency is a concern, but he’s someone the Rangers are likely to need if they’re going to make another deep run into the postseason.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.