White Sox: Breakdown of Derek Holland’s Bizarre Stat Line
White Sox veteran starting pitcher has bizarre stat line this season. How has pitcher been able to sustain success despite lack of wins?
How do you give up 22 runs in 40.2 innings pitched and still have an ERA of 2.43? Ask White Sox starter Derek Holland that question. If he doesn’t know the answer he should, considering that it his line so far in 2017. Horrible defense is the key component to this statistic, but could he be performing better regardless?
Let’s take a look at the four starts where unearned runs diminished Holland’s ERA. His first start of the season was April 7 versus the Minnesota Twins, in a 3-1 Sox loss. There were two errors committed in the fourth inning, which allowed Robbie Grossman to cross home plate. Ironically enough, one was a throwing error by Holland; meaning he could have prevented the one unearned run from scoring that game.
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He then had an appearance at Yankee Stadium ten days later on April 17, where both he and the Sox lost 7-4. His line was a bit peculiar, as he allowed five unearned runs in 4.2 innings pitched. There was little Holland could do that night, due to the fact that terrible defense in a five run third crippled any change he had.
In his lone win throughout the poor defense behind him, Holland allowed an unearned tally when the Sox drubbed the Royals 8-3 on May 4 in Kansas City. During the seventh inning, a tiring Holland drilled Jorge Bonifacio, putting a man in scoring position. Given Alcides Escobar was able to drive him home on an error that would have ended the inning, this could have been avoided by retiring Bonifacio in the first place.
He didn’t get any help in his following start, which took place against Minnesota this past Thursday night. Four runs crossed the plate in the first inning that never should have, as first baseman Jose Abreu dropped the back end of a routine double play ball. Abreu’s miscue would have ended the inning, preventing any more batters from reaching the plate. Unfortunately more did, with Joe Mauer and Eduardo Escobar singling and going yard respectively, putting the Sox in a 4-0 hole before they ever had a chance to bat. He allowed seven runs in total (three earned), in a 7-6 loss on the South Side.
All in all, anytime a pitcher has poor defense played behind him, expect his ERA to drop substantially comparatively speaking. Depending on how you want to look at this, he easily could have allowed runs in other innings leading to more earned runs. Hopefully, the Sox defense will improve, however Holland is going to need to pitch over fielding mistakes as well if he wants to pick up more wins.
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