Derek Holland took the mound on Sunday night as the Texas Rangers stopper, looking to wipe away the memory of a 16-7 loss the night before and even the World Series. It was a tough task, to be sure, but Holland made it look simple, pitching 8-1/3 innings of shutout ball while simply dominating the St. Louis Cardinals lineup. By the end of it all, the Rangers had a 4-0 win, evening the series heading into Game 5 on Monday.
How strong was Holland's performance? SB Nation Dallas breaks down Holland's start and, perhaps, how it will be remember in Rangers' history.
No one outside of Lance Berkman, by the way, had a hit; and Berkman's single was quickly erased by a double play. Even the mighty Albert Pujols -- who some probably argued should be pitched around after last night -- was handled relatively-effortlessly by Holland. It was a start that fit the definition of dominant, and without it the Rangers might well be staring down the barrel of elimination right now.
In short, on Sunday night, Derek Holland did to St. Louis baseball what DeMarco Murray did to St. Louis football, and now he will forever live as a legend in Texas postseason lore for his help.
Murray, by the way, ran all over the St. Louis Rams while setting a Dallas Cowboys single-game rushing record.
Holland allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out seven in the win. It was exactly what the Rangers needed as they faced the possibility of having to win three elimination games with a loss on Sunday night. Instead, the World Series is all-square again with both teams two wins away from taking home baseball's biggest prize.