Remember that note we shared on Thursday, regarding Derek Holland and Roy Halladay since trade talks reportedly broke down between Texas and Toronto just before the trade deadline?
Holland's record since July 30, when it became public that Texas wouldn't include him in any trade for Roy Halladay: 4-1, 1.85 in five starts, with all four wins over contenders (Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Minnesota).
Halladay since July 29: 2-3, 3.41 in five starts, with losses to Seattle, New York, and Boston.
Halladay is now 2-4, 4.40 in that span. His teammates staked him to a third-inning, 6-3 lead at home last night, a lead over Tampa Bay that he couldn't hold. Rays 12, Jays 7. Rays now 1.5 games behind the Rangers, who are 1.5 games behind Boston.
That's not very nice.
Imagine if a trade had gone down, and Halladay had lost games to the Red Sox and Rays, among others, after coming over, while Holland had spanked the Angels and Red Sox, among others, after going away.
No fun to think about.
Tonight: Kevin Millwood (2-3, 5.36 in his last nine starts, no start lasting more than 6.1 innings) against Joba Chamberlain (1-1, 6.75 in his last three starts, 12 walks and 12 strikeouts in 16 innings). Chamberlain, who is getting four extra days of rest, has thrown 59 percent of his pitches for strikes in that stretch - the same percentage he's thrown all season, despite a healthy 8-3, 3.98 record.
There have been nights this season on which the Rangers offense has stepped out of character and worked pitch counts brilliantly. Tonight needs to be one of those nights.
Not that tomorrow night (Holland vs. Andy Pettitte) and Thursday afternoon (Dustin Nippert vs. A.J. Burnett) dictate anything less. But I sure would like to see the offense, which will now feature Chris Davis (2 for 6 lifetime against Chamberlain, with a home run [in their last battle, on May 26] and three strikeouts), set a tone tonight, not to mention Millwood, a return of whose tone-setting ways sure would be welcome.
The only other Ranger to homer off Chamberlain is reigning AL Player of the Week Michael Young (15 for 30, .500/.516/.733, three strikeouts), who went deep in an August 4, 2008 game off the righty. The eight Rangers hitters who have faced Chamberlain in their careers are hitting a healthy .313/.476/.625 collectively.
Among the five Rangers hitters he's never faced is Andruw Jones, and my bet is he never does. With a player move pending to get Davis onto the active roster, it would be stunning if a reliever gets sent out, leaving Texas with a thin, six-man bullpen. Jones may be done in Texas (or at least placed on the disabled list), and we may find that out before 6:05 p.m.
I'll send a news flash out later today when a roster move is announced.
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(c) Jamey Newberg
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