Holland, Rangers ready for early Saturday start

ARLINGTON, Texas – Derek Holland said normally at 11 a.m. on a day he pitches at Rangers Ballpark he’s either just waking up or eating pancakes at a Dallas restaurant.

That won’t be the case tomorrow though as Holland is slated to start against the Angels at 11:05 a.m. in what will be the earliest start in Rangers Ballpark history.

Holland (10-9) is up for the challenge.

“It is what it is,” said Holland, who will leave Friday’s game early to get extra rest. “I’ve still got to go out there and pitch whether it’s 11 in the morning or 7 at night. I’m not too worried about it.”

Holland said that with the stakes as high as they are for the playoff-hopeful Rangers, he’ll have no problem being ready for the game.

“These games are huge,” Holland said. “My game doesn’t matter until whatever happens today. We win today and then it becomes a big game tomorrow. And then I win tomorrow and it’s a big game the next day. We got to stay bared down and worry about one game at a time.”

The game’s start time was moved from 7:05 p.m. to 11:05 a.m. because of the chance of heavy rain in Arlington Saturday night. The decision to move the game had to be approved by both the Angels and Major League Baseball.

Having a doubleheader on the last day of the season with playoff chances on the line wasn’t that appealing to Texas manager Ron Washington, who isn’t a fan of doubleheaders.

“It’s too easy to lose,” said Texas manager Ron Washington, whose team split a doubleheader with Los Angeles in the final week of the season last year. “It’s tough to sweep a doubleheader. You can be unlucky and lose two. I’d rather take my chances with one game a day. We don’t need any flukes. We need every opportunity we can.”

According to Elias, Saturday’s game will be just the third game in the majors this year to start before noon. The others were a Tampa Bay-Boston game April 15 and a Milwaukee-Washington game July 4.