Holland speeds from delivery room to mound
Closer collects two saves in ALDS after frenzied journey from N.C. for birth of son
ANAHEIM -- It's not an understatement to say that Royals closer Greg Holland is having the best week of his life.
Holland celebrated the team's American League Wild Card Game win over the A's Tuesday night in Kansas City, only to bolt to North Carolina right after to be with his wife, Lacey, for the birth of their son. On Wednesday, Nash Gregory Holland was born at 8:42 p.m. ET.
With little time to breathe, Holland then left North Carolina at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday and landed in Orange County at 7 p.m. PT for Game 1 of the American League Division Series. He arrived at Angel Stadium midway through the game but still managed to be ready in time to collect the first postseason save of his career.
The right-hander closed the door again in Game 2, picking up the save in a 4-1 extra-innings win Friday night.
"It has been a lot of fun. I can't really put it into words. It's two things I've never experienced. Winning three extra-innings games and the birth of your first child are experiences that only happen once," Holland said. "It is unbelievable. My wife and son are healthy and that's the most important thing.
"I am used to the adrenaline of a baseball game, but being in the room with your wife when you have your first child, that is on a whole other level."
On Thursday, Holland hopped over gates and raced past security guards just hoping he'd have the opportunity to pitch.
"I kind of made a few security guards nervous running up to them with a pack over my shoulder with my ID in my hand saying, 'I'm a player. I'm a player. Don't tackle me to the ground' ... it was kind of hectic running through the parking lot. But they let me in," he said. "It was kind of weird when a guy's like, 'You're a player? That's not possible because the game is in the fifth inning.' But I had to explain the details and actually got a congratulations, and he jogged me right down the concourse and got me where I needed to go."
After a hectic few days, Holland was happy just to go through his normal routine before Friday's game.
"I slept pretty good last night," Holland joked. "It is always good to go through your routine, but you also have to understand that at times when you are traveling, especially with playoff baseball, that things change so quickly that you have to roll with the punches."
While it's been an emotional roller coaster for the proud papa, he wouldn't have it any other way.
"I think the birth of a child is something special, so I didn't really have to worry about coming into Anaheim and playing one of the better teams in the American League because I think that might have actually helped," Holland said. "Once you get to the yard, it's business as usual."