Let’s examine a sequence of events. One: Derek Holland shaves his mustache. Two: Derek Holland surrenders 8 earned runs against the lowly Seattle Mariners and is unable to get out of the second inning in last night’s baseball contest. Coincidence, you say? Correlation does not equal causation? The author admires your level head, but the mustache laughs in the face of your foolish intellectual graspings, of your supposed reason.
Here is Derek Holland’s pitching line from last evening. You can view the facts and decide for yourself:
51 pitches, 28 strikes, 1 2/3 innings pitched, 8 hits, 8 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 2 home runs, 1 loss,
I’m not here to tell you how to think, but it is my personal opinion that these figures are damning—key among them the conspicuous lack of mustaches in Holland’s unspectacular start. Sure, one could argue that the hair previously found on Holland’s upper lip hardly constituted a traditionally defined mustache, but the heart and effort were there, and it is through this application of grit and determination that the mustache derives it’s power. You can look all this up on the internet if you don’t believe me.
Before foolishly discarding his wispy companion, Holland remarked:
It’s gone long enough. It’s had fun. I just want to bring the baby face back out. Nothing is going to change. It’s not going to affect my performance or anything along those lines. I just think it’s time that it slips off. It’s a little vacation. It’ll come back.
Haunting, really, the foreshadowing found in these innocent and unassuming words. How tragic to view them now through the melancholy scope of stark retrospect. Holland gives hope to us all when he implies that the mustache may one day return. From Derek Holland’s mouth to God’s ears. Get growing, Derek. For all our sakes, get growing, son.
We can dig into Holland’s statistics a bit and see that his pre-non-mustache .262 BABIP foretold of a few more batted balls falling for hits, and we all know how homer friendly Rangers Ballpark can be. Holland still boasts a very strong K/9 mark of 8.32, and FIP and xFIP marks of 4.12 and 3.97 still show an above-average pitcher with room to improve on his now bloated ERA. But what if the mustache held BABIP suppressing powers? What if Holland’s pitching mechanics have fallen apart due to the excess wind stream now assaulting his face as he readies to throw? Further research may be needed in order to reach a palatable conclusion, but we must be careful not to rely on objective measures too heavily when discussing matters of the ‘stache. Some things defy, nay, transcend the common and rudimentary tools we have at our disposal. Some things are simply incomprehensible to our feeble human brains.