SEATTLE -- Derek Holland had a long talk with Michael Young long before Thursday's complete-game gem. It wasn't the first time. Young met with the Rangers' young lefty shortly after the low point of the 24-year-old's season, a game against the Marlins a little less than two weeks ago in which Holland couldn't make it out of the first inning.
It was after that start that the idea of Scott Feldman joining the rotation gained major momentum. Holland's inconsistency was the story, and his inability to pitch out of a jam right away forced manager Ron Washington use his bullpen much longer than he wanted or expected.
But rather than pile on Holland, the Rangers took a different approach. Young was one of the catalysts. It was concerted effort to build up the young pitcher's confidence. The message: No one was ready to give up on Holland.
"He responds well to that," Young said. "With Derek, I think he's got such great stuff, the biggest step for him is to make sure mentally he commits to every pitch he throws. It's tough because that's the thing that allows guys to take the next step. They believe in their stuff. They have conviction when they pitch and every pitch they throw, they're mentally behind it. That's all I've been trying to tell him."
Young reiterated it again before Thursday's game and then watched as Holland took another critical step in his quest to become a consistent, frontline starter. He held the Mariners scoreless for nine innings. He was perfect through five innings and responded when faced with adversity in the sixth. For more on Holland's performance, continue on here.