It was not the debut that Greg Holland or the St. Louis Cardinals had hoped for, as their new closer left his first appearance with no outs, the go-ahead run across the plate, and the bases loaded in 0.1 innings pitched of the 5-4 loss to Milwaukee tonight.
“Didn’t command the ball,” began Holland. “It’s hard to walk four guys and consider that a success. I struggled with my command–I felt good, I just put myself in a tough spot. Luckily, Bud (Norris) kept it at one and gave us a chance but there’s really no excuse for walking four guys in an inning.”
Before the game, Holland shared that he was amped up for his debut with the team. He also did not have an actual Spring Training, having to simulate the experience as a free agent before spending the last week in Palm Beach (A+) getting ready for the active roster. But player and team were in agreement he was ready to go and none of those possible factors were used as an excuse.
“No, you hope it’s a rarity but sometimes you just don’t have a good feel for the strike zone,” said Holland. “Obviously today, I struggled on my command kind from the go. I don’t think there were any outside factors, I just…felt good in the ‘pen, I felt good warming up. Then when the inning started, I was behind the entire time.”
“I don’t know how to look at it,” commented Mike Matheny. “It’s pretty different with what we’ve done. Bringing him in, you don’t see many cases like this. We threw him right into the fire. It was a tough spot, to me, it’s one of those we let go. We know what we’re going to get from him. He’s a pro. He’s going to keep working to get as sharp and when it is, we know what we’re going to get.”
Not every outing of his seven seasons has been perfect for Greg Holland, he had walked three batters in six previous instances. The four walks is a career high.
“It’s a strange thing when you’re a pitcher and you randomly have those occasions where you don’t know where the ball’s going–tonight was one of those nights,” said Holland. “But that’s why you play 162 games. I’ll wake up tomorrow, prepare, and get ready to go do it again.”
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports