Via Yahoo -
Parents know the feeling. One glorious day their child grows up right before their eyes. Sometimes it’s unexpected. Sometimes it’s been a long time coming. It’s always delightful.
Fortunately for the Texas Rangers, the day arrived for wispy-mustached, ah-shucks left-handed pitcher Derek Holland on Sunday in Game 4 of the World Series. Holland, the team’s No. 4 starter, had been horrendous in his previous two outings. But he held the St. Louis Cardinals scoreless for 8 1/3 innings, the Rangers won 4-0 and the series is tied at two games apiece for the first time since 2003.
Yes, the same Cardinals that strafed six Rangers pitchers for 16 runs and 15 hits Saturday in Game 3. Holland allowed two hits – both by Lance Berkman – and retired Albert Pujols all three times he faced him, the ball never leaving the infield.
Yes, the same Pujols who had perhaps the best offensive performance in series history in Game 3 when he hit three home runs among five hits and drove in six runs.
It was the longest scoreless appearance by an American League starting pitcher in the series since the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte went 8 1/3 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves in 1996.
“Growing up as a kid I wanted to pitch in the World Series,” Holland said. “I idolized Andy Pettitte and wanted to be like him. … I wanted to redeem myself and show I belonged here.”
I could not think of a better idol for a left-handed pitcher, if you asked me.