It was the best of times and it was the worst of mustaches. Derek Holland is being revered as a star of the Fall Classic, and he is also being derided for that thing that hangs above his lip.
The Texas Rangers have pulled into a dead heat with this year's Cinderella team, the St. Louis Cardinals. What's remarkable is not that a World Series of stars was taken over by an unlikely hero, it's that he silenced a team that seemed to be scorching.
Holland had the unenviable task of quieting a team that had just put up a 16-spot the night before. He had to face a Goliath in Albert Pujols, a man that torched the Rangers for three home runs the night before.
What looked to be a slugfest turned out to be an ace's dream. The best part seems to be that awkward piece of facial hair that grows with the scantest bit of ferocity above Derek Holland's lip.
It should drive the Cardinals mad that they failed to hit a pitcher that looks every bit as old as some of their children watching from home.
This man with a wisp of hair better suited for Adam Morrison's lip was pitching inside and driving batters off his plate.
Like Rick Moranis in every single one of his movies, Holland was playing the part of lovable goofball and implausible hero.
On Monday, we are greeted by two questions concerning the World Series: Who is this Derek Holland kid, and have you seen his epic mustache?
A series that should have been dominated by Jason Motte's beard and fastball has been taken over by peach fuzz, and I love it.
We can talk all we want about WHIP or bullpens, but it is far more interesting to discuss the human element. Derek Holland's mustache makes him far more accessible to the borderline baseball fan.
We will never look like Albert Pujols and his Adonis figure. But Holland looks like a guy we just saw at the supermarket. He resembles that cat at the bar we saw Friday night.
Holland is getting a lot of flak for having one of the worst mustaches in the history of the game, but none of that matters. We love him all the more for it.
It's also hard to get under his skin when he posts the kind of night he just had. The Cardinals left the batter's box so many times shaking their heads.
He continues to have me in awe as I figure out how to grow one of those thing on my own. The Holland mustache is this season's "Fear the Beard." Holland just owned the St. Louis Cardinals, and now his mustache is controlling the headlines.
Welcome to the 2011 World Series, where you really can have the best and worst of things.
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