ARLINGTON -- General manager Jon Daniels shouldn't have needed the reminder Saturday afternoon, but Derek Holland gave him one anyway.
There is no starting pitcher reasonably available before the trade deadline who would be an upgrade over Holland, who has done something this year that no Texas Rangers pitcher had done in 30 years.
No left-hander in club history had done it, period, and only one lefty in the game has matched Holland this year.
The lefty, Cliff Lee, was the prize of the trade market last year, and the Rangers gobbled him up and rode him to the World Series. Holland isn't that good yet, not until he shows more consistency, but the Rangers won't find anyone better before today's non-waiver trade deadline.
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Holland tossed his fourth shutout of the season Saturday, dominating Toronto on only 95 pitches and allowing only four hits en route to a 3-0 Rangers victory.
It's hard to argue that any of the other three were better than what he did at Rogers Centre.
"He did a great job today," manager Ron Washington said. "He's thrown some gems before. This doesn't surprise us. This is what he's capable of doing.
"I don't think there's anything like that out there that's available. We got something like that last year, but I don't think there's anything like that now."
Holland (10-4) received help along the way in the form of home runs from Mitch Moreland and Mike Napoli, and a not-so-gentle mound meeting with in the second inning.
Moreland had just given the Rangers a 2-0 lead with a two-run shot in the second inning off Brad Mills, a soft-throwing left-hander who was making his 2011 debut. Holland got the first two outs of the bottom half before walking Rajai Davis and committing a throwing error on a John McDonald infield hit to put runners at second and third.
Washington jogged to the mound and "gave me a new one," Holland said. He caught J.P Arencibia looking at a breaking ball for an inning-ending strikeout, and dominated the rest of the way.
"It fired me up," said Holland, who is tied with Lee for the major league lead in shutouts. "I'm better than that. I shouldn't have been making those two-out mistakes, especially after the offense just gave us some runs."
The Arencibia strikeout was the first of 12 straight outs recorded by Holland, who needed only 25 pitches to navigate the third, fourth and fifth innings after using 20 pitches in the second.
He used only five pitches in the seventh and was sitting at 82 pitches after the eighth. Neftali Feliz would have entered the game had one Blue Jays batter reached in the ninth, but Holland retired Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind in order.
The shutout was Holland's third in his past five starts and his third in July, a number only Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Gaylord Perry have also achieved in one month for the Rangers.
Holland became the first Rangers pitcher since Doc Medich in 1981 to throw four shutouts in a season. The club record, shared by Jenkins and new Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, is six.
"It's good, but I'm not going to take all the credit for this," said Holland, who has heard his name in recent trade rumors. "I don't think about that. The main thing is just to go out and pitch."
Washington also didn't want any credit for his one-sided conversation that changed the game.
"I'm not going to say I had all that to do with it," Washington said. "He went out there and got two quick outs, and now he's putting himself in a position where they can get back in the ballgame. That's unacceptable.
"That's all I told him. The rest is Derek Holland. He got the message."
In turn, the Rangers' baseball-operations staff received a message from Holland.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760