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Rangers History Today: Derek Holland’s Masterful Performance in 2011 World Series

It was Game 4 of the 2011 World Series and the Rangers fired up the 'Dutch Oven' in an effort to even the series.

On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers evened up the 2011 World Series at two games apiece.

On Oct. 23, 2011, the Rangers were coming off 16-7 shellacking by the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington a night earlier. The Rangers needed to even the series up or risk the Cardinals having the chance to clinch the series in Texas in Game 5. The Rangers also needed a solution for Albert Pujols, who had gone 5-for-6 with three home runs in Game 3.

For Game 4, the Rangers turned to left-hander Derek Holland, who threw his best game as a Ranger.

Holland had a fine regular season, going 16–5 with a 3.95 ERA. He threw four shutouts that season, which led the American League and was tied for the fifth-most in Rangers history. The Rangers weren’t expecting a shutout, necessarily. But that’s what the ‘Dutch Oven’ gave the Rangers.

Holland threw 8 1/3 dominant innings, giving up no runs on two hits, two walks and striking out seven as the Rangers won the game, 4-0. The only two Cardinal hits off Holland came off the bat of Lance Berkman.

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The Rangers didn’t need much offense, but Josh Hamilton staked Holland to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI double. Then, in the sixth inning, Holland and the Rangers got some breathing room after Mike Napoli’s three-run home run.

Neftalí Feliz closed out the game in the ninth inning.

Oddly enough, Game 4 of the series took place on the same day as a Dallas Cowboys home game across the street at AT&T Stadium. The same thing had happened in 2010, when Game 4 of the World Series took place on a Sunday, with the Cowboys playing at home against Jacksonville. But, in 2011, the oddity was that the Cowboys were hosting the St. Louis Rams, and that Holland and Berkman served as honorary captains during the Cowboys-Rams game and attended the opening coin toss.

With the series evened up at 2-2, Game 5 would be the next night, with the winner stepping one victory away from a world title.

Are we missing a moment from this day in Texas Rangers history? We’re happy to add it. Hit us up on Twitter @PostinsPostcard and let us know what to add. 

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