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Holland's shaky loss belies his solid season

September 25, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- Derek Holland's sweet season met with a potentially bittersweet ending Monday night as the Giants absorbed their fifth consecutive defeat, a 5-0 loss to the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.Holland (7-9) worked five innings and allowed eight hits, matching his second-highest total of the season. Manuel

SAN FRANCISCO -- Derek Holland's sweet season met with a potentially bittersweet ending Monday night as the Giants absorbed their fifth consecutive defeat, a 5-0 loss to the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.
Holland (7-9) worked five innings and allowed eight hits, matching his second-highest total of the season. Manuel Margot and Franmil Reyes rapped RBI singles in the second and third innings, respectively, before Jose Pirela homered in the fourth.

Overall, however, this was a season of redemption for Holland, who helped stabilize the Giants' starting rotation while injuries sidelined Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, the club's projected top three starters.
Holland and the Giants weren't certain whether this was his final start of 2018. Factors such as allocating innings to some of the team's younger pitchers or whether the weekend series against the Dodgers has postseason implications will determine whether Holland makes another start, pitches in relief or remains idle.
"If I get another appearance, out of the 'pen, starting, whatever it is, I want to go out on a better note," Holland said. "That could have been my last start. I'm not really sure. It's not the way I wanted to go out, but at the same [time], I did achieve a lot this year."
After posting a 7-14 record with a 6.20 ERA in 29 appearances with the Chicago White Sox last year, including 26 starts, Holland revived his career with the Giants. Despite entering Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, the left-hander made the season-opening rotation and remained in it, except for a brief stint in the bullpen in July.
"For myself, bouncing back from last year was a big thing. Obviously these guys gave me the opportunity. I wanted to make sure that I could show people, one, I'm still healthy and, two, I can still pitch."
Holland certainly proved both points with his statistics. He leads the Giants in starts (30), innings (168 2/3) and strikeouts (167). Keeping the score close is every starter's primary concern, and Holland accomplished this, too. Monday marked his first defeat since the All-Star break over a span of 12 starts.
"That kind of blew me away," Holland said. "I didn't know that until I heard about it. It just shows that these guys had my back the whole time. The defense made a lot of great plays and they did it again today."

Holland insisted that general manager Bobby Evans' decision to step down from his position, which was announced shortly before the game, was not a distraction.
"We have to worry about what's going on out there on the field and try to focus on that," Holland said. "We're trying to finish strong. Obviously the news is something that caught us off-guard, but it didn't play a factor in today's game."
Eligible for free agency this offseason, Holland has repeated that he'd like to re-sign with San Francisco. Manager Bruce Bochy indicated that he would welcome his return.
"These are things we'll talk about," Bochy said. "He's in the mix. ... He should be proud of what he did this year. He'll have some options, and hopefully we're one of them."
SOUND SMART
Brandon Crawford's ninth-inning double was the 198th of his career, passing Jack Clark for the 13th highest total in the Giants' San Francisco history (since 1958). Brandon Belt ranks 12th with 199.
HE SAID IT
"I thanked him for all his help. Bobby and I spent even more time together the last couple of years. He's always been around and very helpful. Twenty-five years here -- that shows you the continuity that we have here in San Francisco. He did a lot to help out in different areas. I know he wore some different hats here and did a lot for the organization. So I was glad I had a chance to talk to him before he left." -- Bochy, on general manager Bobby Evans, who stepped down from his position Monday
UP NEXT
Chris Stratton will try to finish his season on an upbeat note on Tuesday when he confronts the Padres at AT&T Park beginning at 7:15 p.m. PT. The Giants are 13-12 in his starts but have lost in eight of his last 10 outings. San Diego will counter with left-hander Robbie Erlin, who's making his sixth career start against the Giants.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.