But for the Rangers, the sixth inning was going to come down to
Holland and Thome. Rangers manager Ron Washington said so several
times in his postgame press conference, concerned that Feldman was
going through the Chicago lineup for the third time, with all three
White Sox reaching so far.
"I respect Thome," Washington said. "I thought
Holland could get him. It didn't happen."
Holland was just off on his location, leaving a fastball up for Thome,
who drilled it off the left-center-field fence, missing a home run by
a few feet. Thome's ringing double cleared the bases, tying the game
The White Sox wound up beating Holland in the top of the seventh,
scoring again with two outs. Scott Podsednik had an infield single.
Holland picked Podsednik off, but the inning stayed alive when Holland
was called for a balk. Leadoff hitter Chris Getz then tripled to
center field for a 4-3 lead.
It spoiled a strong start by Feldman, who gave up three two-out hits
in 5 2/3 innings.
"I let him down," Holland said.
The Rangers produced their runs in the early innings. Ian Kinsler had
a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, the seventh leadoff
homer of his career, one shy of the team record.
The Rangers made it 3-0 in the third as Kinsler had a sacrifice fly
and Andruw Jones a run-scoring double.
Meanwhile, Feldman retired the first 11 men he faced before Quentin
dumped in a single in front of diving center fielder Marlon Byrd.
Feldman bounced back to get the next six White Sox batters, including
the first two outs in the top of the sixth before Getz and Fields
nicked him for singles. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux visited the
mound, but only to talk about how to approach Quentin.
Feldman didn't pitch to Quentin like it was the last batter he would
face. He admitted to being too careful with first base open,
working the count full before missing badly on a two-seam fastball to
load the bases.
"I wasn't going to let him beat me," Feldman said. "It was a full
count. I would have liked to have thrown a strike there."
Holland was told to crank it up in the bullpen with Fields up, meaning
he needed to get ready to face Thome. Holland admitted to being a
little nervous as he came onto the field, knowing Thome was waiting.
"I grew up watching him play," Holland said.
Holland actually blew a fastball by Thome on the first pitch. At that
point the nerves were gone. He tried another fastball. Thome ripped it
in typical Thome fashion, a line drive to left-center.
"Down, that's were I wanted it," Holland said. "I left it up a little
bit. He beat me."
In the postgame aftermath, both pitchers talked about being ready for
"I didn't want to come out," Feldman said. "I have a lot of faith in
Holland and the bullpen. Maybe next time I'll get a chance against
For Holland, he might have gone down by knockout to Thome, but he said
this baptism under fire is the only way to go now that he's in the big
"I'm glad they do [trust me]," Holland said. "I appreciate the
confidence that they have in me."