KANSAS CITY -- Greg Holland is the Royals' closer. No matter what you saw on Friday, it was not Jonathan Broxton.
On Friday against the White Sox, Holland converted his fifth save in as many opportunities since taking over after Broxton was traded on July 31. But this save came in the style of the Royals' former ninth-inning man.
After recording two quick outs, Holland raised some heart rates and caused a few sweaty palms among those in attendance, just like his former teammate used to do, allowing back-to-back hits to A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez before getting Dayan Viciedo to fly out to right to end it.
"That's one of those situations, when you're up two, you kind of take your chances getting ahead," Holland said. "And they're a pretty aggressive team in the middle of their lineup. I know they've been swinging, but you still take your chances."
Despite the anxiety caused at times by Broxton's style, teammates and coaches often praised him for having the ability to get out of those jams -- a feat he typically accomplished. It looks like Holland might have picked that up from Broxton. In fact, Holland has allowed at least one hit in each of his last three saves.
Was that something Broxton was able to teach Holland?
"I don't know if you can teach that," manager Ned Yost said. "I think that's kind of something you have or you don't have -- the ability to slow the game. And you can get better at it, but for a guy to teach you how to stay calm in those situations, I don't know if that's teachable. I think he learned a little bit of it through experience, but I think you either have that makeup trait or you don't."
Since becoming the Royals' closer, Holland has allowed just one run on eight hits in eight appearances, with nine strikeouts and an ERA of 1.00.