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Holland aims to erase memory of 2010 World Series

By Steve Ginsburg

ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland recalls playing in his first World Series for all the wrong reasons.

"I joke about it," he told reporters Saturday. "You know what happened. I went out there, threw 13 pitches, two for strikes. But I bounced back the next time I got out there."

Holland's Fall Classic debut was a mere footnote in last year's 9-0 shellacking by San Francisco in Game Two of the World Series, ultimately won by the Giants in five.

The excitable 25-year-old can go a long away to exorcising those memories if he can deliver a command performance in Game Four of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

On Sunday the hard-throwing Holland will start against the National League champions at Rangers Ballpark outside Dallas.

"I really want to win this," he said. "I've been there. I got a taste of it, the Giants beat us. I feel like I've got a lot to prove after what happened last year."

Holland wants no repeat from a year ago when a throng of reporters huddled around him following his 13-pitch relief catastrophe.

"I stood up and took my beating and talked to them," he said. "There was a few guys afterwards that joked with me, 'Hey, look at it this way, the plate moved on you, or it shrunk or something goofy.'

"It's something you've got to joke around with because if you let it eat you up, it's going to hurt you more."

Holland pitched well in his next World Series outing last year but the enduring flashback will be of his painful debut on the big stage.

He was 16-5 this year for the Rangers but is still prone to the bad outing. Holland admits to sometimes losing control emotionally and "letting my adrenaline get the best of me."

"It's part of maturing as an adult," he said. "You want to make yourself aware of these kind of things and you've got to learn how to control it, too.

"I've got to make sure I take care of what I can now because I might not be here the next time around."

Holland said he would like to emulate the demeanour of Colby Lewis, another Rangers starter.

"He's obviously a very quiet guy," he said. "He doesn't let anything happen. If he gives up the home run or gets a strikeout, they both look the same.

"Colby does a very good job carrying himself, and that's what I want to try to do, too."

(Editing by Larry Fine)