The pitching match-up of the year didn’t materialize as the pitcher’s duel of the year. It was actually Justin Verlander‘s worst regular season start. EVER. You can thank the Texas Rangers offense for that, particularly Mitch Moreland and, in the biggest surprise of the season, Geovany Soto, whose 3-run blast to left spelled the end of Verlander’s night.
Scintillating as the offense was, last night’s win cemented yet another incredible aspect in the game of Yu Darvish. If it had only happened once, I would shake it off as one of those things that happens. This, however, was not the first time it has happened and I have a feeling it will be integral in understanding the current and future success of the Rangers’ new ace.
Darvish did not have his best stuff last night. His fastball command was almost non-existent. Most of his other pitches were having a hard time finding the zone as well. Through the early innings, about the only pitch Darvish had working for him was his slider. Thus, it wasn’t surprising when he finally ran into trouble in the 3rd inning. Facing the bottom of the order, Darvish gave up his first hit, a home run that tied the game at 1. It was followed by a single. Then another single. A wild pitch. A sacrifice fly put the Tigers up 2-1. Miguel Cabrera doubled and Darvish intentionally walked Prince Fielder. Bases loaded. One out. A Victor Martinez sac fly on the 10th pitch of the at bat put Detroit up 3-1. Darvish was on the ropes, already at 31 pitches on the inning. It would take another five pitches before the inning ended. Darvish was already at 63 pitches in only three innings of work. It was looking like a bullpen kind of night.
Despite the Rangers heroics in the bottom of the frame, chasing Verlander with a 7-spot to take an 8-4 lead, Darvish came out in the 4th and immediately gave up his second home run of the night, this one to Jhonny Peralta, making it 8-4. That’s when it kicked in.
From that point on, Darvish retired 15 of the next 16 batters, including the last 10 Tigers in a row. Yu ended up going a career high 130 pitches over 8 innings in picking up his 7th win of the season.
Most pitchers, even quality ones, have games in which they struggle. Most of the time, it will be a struggle from beginning to end. On a rare occasion, they’ll recover and pitch effectively after their bad inning(s). This is the third similar occurrence in Darvish’s young career. On June 20, 2012 he was quickly down 2-0 in the second, expending 41 pitches to get through the two innings. From that point on, Darvish retired 18 of the last 21 Padres he faced including the last ten in a row.
On April 12th this year, the Mariners touched Darvish for 3 runs in the first inning. After the first? Fifteen of 17 Mariners were retired, including the last 12 in a row.
Less than two weeks ago, the Red Sox plated three runs in the first two innings. After a second inning home run, Darvish retired 17 of the last 20 Boston batters he faced, only one of them getting a hit.
Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, Darvish seems to have an innate ability to figure out within a game how to proceed based on how his pitches are working or not working. In this case he switched from setting everything up through his fastball to setting it up through his slider. There are few pitchers out there who can achieve such dramatic results on in-game adjustments. I’m just glad one who can pitches for the Texas Rangers.
Rangers Ballpark In Arlington is a mere 8-hour drive from my front door, so you’ll forgive me if I’m not seen at a Rangers home game more than a few times a year. In fact, it’s now been over a year since I saw my last Rangers game live. Yes, I sometimes feel sorry for myself but fortunately, the Astros’ games are no longer on Fox Sports Southwest, so I can pretty much watch any Rangers game on TV save for the Friday night games which are only shown locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
What I’m trying to say here is I won’t be at RBiA tonight to see the opener of the Texas Rangers and the defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers. I live too far away, I don’t have enough scratch to make the trip and there have been no wealthy benefactors offering to pay my way there.
Here’s what I can’t understand, though. This isn’t just the first game matching up the last two American League Champions. It is also a match-up of two of the best starting pitchers playing in the game today. Yu Darvish vs. Justin Verlander. One’s a Cy Young Award winner, the other is pitching like he wants the CYA this year.
As much of a Rangers fan as I am, I also know I cannot watch each and every game of the season. Besides the aforementioned Friday night games, this year I’m now forced to accept my age and retire for the night before a West Coast game can reach its conclusion. Family and work responsibilities get in the way of a number of other games. Believe it or not, sometimes I’d rather just watch something else on the tube instead of the Rangers game.
There is, however, a time when I will move heaven and earth to make sure I get to see my beloved Rangers play, and that is a game in which Yu Darvish takes the mound for Texas. It has literally been almost 20 years since a Rangers pitcher has compelled me to watch a game whenever he took the mound. The last pitcher from so long ago? Nolan Ryan.
Over the years, Texas Rangers baseball has been appointment viewing for me because of hitters like Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Josh Hamilton, even Pete Incaviglia for a short while. A pitcher? Only twice. Ryan and now Darvish. Had I lived in Texas back then, perhaps Fergie Jenkins might have elicited a reaction as well.
The variety of Darvish’s pitching repertoire, the movement he has on some of his pitches and the prodigious number of strikeouts makes Darvish appointment television for me all of 400+ miles away from the site it’s occurring in. Then, when you add Justin Verlander to the equation as the opponent on the mound, this is a must-see event only slightly below a playoff game in importance.
I say this because, as of this writing, tonight’s Darvish-Verlander match-up is shaping up to have the lowest attendance of any game in the 4-game set. I know it’s the only game of the four not being played on the weekend, but for goodness sake, IT’S DARVISH AGAINST VERLANDER!!! I’d let my kids and grandkids miss school the next day to see a pitching match-up like this. If it were a day game and I were a teacher, I’d set up a TV in my classroom to let my students see it. If my wife threatened to leave me tonight, I might even consider asking her to wait a couple of hours so we can talk about it after the game (I really wouldn’t, but you get my point).
Darvish vs. Verlander and as of lunchtime today, there were almost 10,000 tickets still available for the game. Is the American Idol finale really THAT important??? I guess fans don’t care about pitching match-ups as much as they used to. What a shame, because this could be one of the better games any fan could see this season.
- Preview: Tigers at Rangers (wyff4.com)
- PODCAST: Yu Darvish vs Justin Verlander tonight in Arlington as the Texas Rangers face the Detroit Tigers (rattleandhumsports.com)
- Darvish, Verlander Set For Showdown Thursday (dfw.cbslocal.com)
I’ll start this out by saying what I’ve said in these pages many a time before: I’m NOT a major proponent of WAR. I understand the concept of it, I just don’t totally agree with it because of the subjectivity of the defensive metrics. I don’t “speak” sabermetrics, but a great sabermetric argument for the way I feel was published today, as a free article, on Baseball Prospectus.
A way I can use WAR, though, would be as a comparison tool that doesn’t involve delving into a lot of different stats. I thought it would be interesting to see, at the 1/4 point of the season, how the Texas Rangers might look, record-wise, had they decided to keep everyone from last year’s Rangers team, instead of adding the pieces they added. To do that, I examined the respective WAR of the departed Rangers to their counterparts from this year’s team.
For this study, I’m using essentially the Texas Rangers team that essentially comprised the Rangers following the July 31st trading deadline.
Here’s how the former Rangers are faring so far in 2013, based on bWAR (via Baseball Reference.com):
Mike Adams (Philadelphia) 0.4
Ryan Dempster (Boston) 0.5
Scott Feldman (Chicago Cubs) 0.8
Josh Hamilton (Los Angeles Angels) -0.6
Mark Lowe (Los Angeles Angels) -0.3
Mike Napoli (Boston) 1.0
Koji Uehara (Boston) 0.5
Michael Young (Philadelphia) 0.3
Now let’s look at this year’s Texas Rangers counterparts:
Jeff Baker 0.7
Lance Berkman 0.6
Jason Frasor 0.0
Leury Garcia 0.1
Derek Lowe 0.0
Leonys Martin 0.7
Joe Ortiz 0.0
A.J. Pierzynski 0.6
Nick Tepesch 0.0
The two biggest things that jump out at me: Leonys Martin‘s defense (the subjective part) has led to a much higher WAR figure than I thought, while, of the former Rangers, Ryan Dempster and Scott Feldman have both far exceeded what I most Rangers fans would have expected of them. Overall, the former Rangers out-WAR the current Rangers, but only by .2. If you’d like to extrapolate that to an actual record, WAR suggests the Rangers would be just where they are, at 24-14 or maybe one game better at 25-13, had they just stood pat with last year’s team. Of course, they’d have that record for a significantly higher payroll than they currently have, which would be a discussion for another day.
I should say it LOOKS like a mismatch. If I were the Rangers, though, I would approach it as anything BUT.
First, the games are on the road. Texas took two of three to open the season against Houston, but surprised many that it wasn’t three of three, let alone the Astros would win the season opener handily. Second, the Astros are coming off a near-sweep at home of the Los Angeles Angels, who may not be as good as most expected, but certainly not as bad as the team behind them in the standings. Still, the Angels lost two of the three games and only late-inning heroics kept them from heading out-of-town as the first team in 2013 swept by Houston. Third, anyone who has watched the Astros play this season says they may not have much talent, but manager Bo Porter has them hustling and playing heads-up baseball from beginning of the game to the end.
Last, but certainly not least, I looked at the pitching match-ups for this weekend and I have to applaud Porter for the way he’s looking at this series. Porter may not know the MLB rule book about pitcher substitutions, but he does know the only way to beat Texas is to attack their vulnerabilities. Thus, his first two starters this weekend. Tonight, Alexi Ogando goes for the Rangers against the Astros’ Dallas Kuechel. No, not because his first name is Dallas. Keuchel has a rather unremarkable MLB career stat line of 3-9 with a 5.22 ERA, including 0-1, 4.96 in 2013. Keuchel hasn’t started a game in 2013. Why is this a good move by Porter? Not only is Keuchel a lefthander, which the Rangers have not been handling well lately, but he also made one of his 16 starts in 2012 against Texas, where he went 5+ innings and gave up only one run.
On Saturday, Porter is following up by throwing Erik Bedard against Yu Darvish. Bedard has failed so spectacularly as a starter for the Astros, Porter moved him into the bullpen a couple weeks ago. Now, suddenly, here’s Bedard back in the rotation. Huh?
Porter knows Bedard has pretty much sucked this year: 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA. Oh yeah, except against the Rangers. Once again, Bedard is a lefty. He also faced Texas on Opening Day, throwing the last 3.1 innings to get the save in Houston’s shocking win. For his career, Bedard is a decent 5-4, 3.36 against the Rangers.
The Rangers could very well sweep the series against Houston, but I’ll grant the Astros this: their manager is putting them into the absolutely best position to win that he can.
The Rangers looked horrible against the lowly Chicago Cubs last night. Former Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman made Texas batters look silly and only the woeful Cubs bullpen prevented the Rangers from being shut out for the game.
As terrible as the Rangers looked, I can forgive them this game. Originally, the Rangers were to have Monday off, so they scheduled one of their big charity benefits for Sunday evening after the afternoon game with the Red Sox. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, a game with the Cubs got rained out a couple of weeks ago and Monday was chosen as the make-up date. Late flight out of Texas, late arrival in Chicago, tired team overall. I get that.
Except for Nick Tepesch. The rookie pitcher wasn’t part of the benefit. Since he was the scheduled starter, he got a head start in going to the Windy City. He had a good night’s sleep. He took the hill and had his worst start of his young career. Tepesch gave up a 5-spot in the fourth inning, putting his team down 6-0 and the Rangers never recovered.
Rookie pitchers are going to take their lumps, even rookies like Tepesch, whose first three starts were outstanding. Now, though, he’s started getting knocked around his last couple of times out. Why is this important?
There’s a guy getting started on rehab right now in Arizona by the name of Colby Lewis. It may still be more than a month away, but Lewis will be returning soon. When he does, someone is going to have to go, and that someone will be either Tepesch or Justin Grimm. As much as you’d like to just write it off as one (or two) bad starts, if you’re a GM like Jon Daniels, you’re looking at every start a player makes. Add in that this a team with playoff aspirations and you’re faced with a real “win or go home” attitude. Tepesch needs to step it up in his next couple of starts or he’s got a date with AAA Round Rock in his future. His competition to continue in the Rangers’ rotation, Justin Grimm, now has a leg up, as he hasn’t gotten pummeled yet. If he continues to pitch well, there’s little Tepesch can do to change the decision.
Yu Darvish ERA by Innings, 2013:
Translation: Get to Darvish in the first or don’t get him at all.
Here’s one I love- Yu’s Strikeout to walk ratio in leverage situations:
Low Leverage: 7.20
Medium Leverage: 2.89
High Leverage: 10.00
Translation: When things look their worst, Darvish is at his best.
Opponents Batting Average in Yu’s first 25 pitches is a pedestrian .382. After 25 pitches? A meager .111
At his current pace, Darvish would end 2013 with 349 Strikeouts. That would be the most since Randy Johnson K’d 372 in 2001 and would rank 6th in all-time season performance. It would also be in only 33 starts. The highest K total in 33 starts or less is currently Pedro Martinez, who struck out 313 batters in 31 starts in 1999.
The best single season strikeout per 9 innings pitcher was Randy Johnson’s 13.41 in 2001. Darvish is currently on a pace of 14.2 K/9.
In just 36 starts over the course of one season and a month, Darvish is already third on the Rangers’ all-time list for games with 10+ strikeouts with 12. In second is Bobby Witt, who accomplished the feat 24 times over 10 seasons. Nolan Ryan tops the list with 34 times over a 4-year stretch.
Translation: Yu Darvish is one impressive dude.
- Yu Darvish is striking out a lot of hitters (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- The best right-hander? Darvish is the man (espn.go.com)
The Texas Rangers were not as good as their initial 16-8 record seemed to indicate. Conversely, the Texas Rangers are not nearly as bad as they’ve shown in their last five games, four of which were losses.
What we do know, however, is that right now, today, May 3rd, 2013, the Texas Rangers are not very good against left-handed pitching.
Regular readers of this page know this is not something new that has cropped up with the Rangers this season. This has actually been a long-term problem over the past three or four years, particularly if the lefthanded starter is either A) a finesse pitcher; B) a rookie they’ve never faced before; or C) both.
In losing their first series of the season to the Chicago White Sox, after opening the year with five series wins and three series ties, Texas has now dropped four out of their last five contests. They’ve also faced left-handed starters in four of their last six games and will face two lefties in three games when they face the Red Sox this weekend.
Out of those four left-handed starters, Texas had some success against the Twins Scott Diamond, going 12-27 with five doubles and a home run, but still managed to score only three runs off him. Since then (and including relief pitchers), the Rangers are a meager .224 against southpaws in their last 98 at bats against them with 8 walks and 23 strikeouts over 27 innings. In last night’s series finale against the Chisox, Adrian Beltre had a 2nd inning home run against emergency southpaw starter Hector Santiago, but managed only one other hit in 5.1 innings against him.
If there’s any silver lining, it could come tonight against the Red Sox. Boston is sending Felix Doubront to the mound. Yeah, he’s another southpaw, but Texas has scorched him to a career .388 batting average and 1.040 OPS, explaining Doubront’s career 10.32 ERA against the Rangers. If I were managing against the Rangers and they struggle again tonight against Doubront, I’d just continue to throw lefthanders against them until they can show any kind of success against them.
There’s nothing more depressing than taking a Saturday afternoon to watch your favorite team and seeing them fall in a lackluster performance 7-2.
The Rangers pretty much looked awful in Saturday’s loss to the Twinkies. Mitch Moreland committed a key error early in the game. Ian Kinsler made two bonehead decisions on one play late in the game and didn’t even get charged with one error. The Texas offense could muster nothing against a mediocre right-handed starter, who somehow managed five scoreless innings despite Texas getting their share of hits off him. At one point, Texas had zero runs on five hits while the Twins had one run on one hit, and that hit wasn’t a home run.
Still, it was a winnable game until Derek Holland did the really inexplicable. With a runner in scoring position and first base open and a 3-0 count on Josh Willingham, he chose to challenge him instead of just walking him. Willingham is a Rangers killer with 7 home runs and 16 RBI in just 29 games against Texas. After Holland got from a 3-0 count to 3-2, Willingham crushed a curve right in the middle of the plate over the fence in left center, making it 3-0 and effectively ending the Rangers day.
There’s more than enough blame to go around. Dutch had a great game going through five but faltered badly in the 6th and 7th. Moreland’s error led to the first run. Kinsler’s weirdness brought another run home. Willingham’s blast plated two. Plenty of blame to go around.
What it isn’t is the end of the world. It was one loss. It isn’t proof positive that the Rangers HAVE to trade for a better first base alternative. It wasn’t the game to finally nail home the notion that David Murphy and Moreland have no right to face lefthanded pitching late in a game. It doesn’t prove Ian Kinsler is a bad second baseman or Michael Kirkman, charged with 3 runs in the 8th, has no future with this ballclub. While it is frustrating at times, it’s also no reason to question why a player getting a day off isn’t even asked to pinch hit in a game.
Even in defeat, things can have a purpose over a long season. A day of rest here could pay big dividends towards the end of the season when other teams are hurting. They can also have an effect on the next game. Take the previously mentioned Moreland. Mitch slapped a run-scoring double in the 9th inning to save the Rangers from being shut out. One could say, “Too little too late, Mitch”. Not me. That hit very well could impact tomorrow’s series finale. It kept the inning going against Twins closer Glen Perkins. Perkins ended up throwing over 30 pitches to get through the 9th inning, making it more unlikely he will be available tomorrow in a tight game.
Texas just didn’t have it today. In the first 24 games, they’ve had it twice as many times as they haven’t and that’s good enough for a three and a half game lead in the AL West.
When losing skeins hit four or five games, that’s a time to start questioning and looking for solutions. Today? Get off the ledge. It’s just one loss.
- Twins’ Pedro Hernandez Gets First Major League Win (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
Let’s see. Let Josh Hamilton go. Reluctantly let Mike Napoli go. Gladly let Michael Young go. And while we’re at it, let your best bullpen set-up guys, Mike Adams and Koji Uehara go. Then, once the season starts, have your Opening Day starter go on the DL after three ineffective starts, make sure your previously platooned left-handed hitting left fielder and first baseman get off to miserable offensive starts, especially against southpaws, and have two rookies fill up 40% of your rotation. Mix it all together and VOILA! you have a team tied for the AL’s best record as we near the end of the season’s first month.
The question is, how the heck are they doing it?
This year’s Texas Rangers are certainly not resembling what we’ve expected from Rangers teams in the past. No longer is the offense a home-run hitting machine. You would think the pitching staff is nothing to write home about. Not a lot of household names there. It certainly doesn’t get the press of the starting staffs of Oakland, Detroit or even Tampa Bay. Here the Rangers are, though, winners of five of their first seven series. The two series they didn’t win, they split. The longest losing streak Texas has had in the first 22 games? One. That’s right, they have yet to lose consecutive games in 2013.
The question gets asked again, how the heck are they doing it?
Pitching is certainly the biggest answer. Through 22 games, the Rangers are first in the American League in Earned Run Average and it isn’t even close. At 2.76, the Rangers’ ERA is almost a half run better than the 2nd place Chicago White Sox. Yu Darvish (as chronicled in yesterday’s post) is approaching Ace status as a starter, Derek Holland has been much more consistent in the early going and rookie Nick Tepesch, winner of last night’s 2-1 victory over the Twins, has been nothing short of phenomenal. Tepesch has walked three batters in four starts. All three walks came in ONE INNING of his first start. None in the 19+ innings since. The bullpen features a 5’7″ rookie in Joe Ortiz whose first year is resembling the successful debut a year earlier by his teammate Robbie Ross. Tanner Scheppers has gone through 10 games and 11.2 innings without giving up a run, earned or otherwise. Texas is the only bullpen in the AL not to have blown a save yet on the season.
The pitching is paving the way. The offense, despite some good pieces, hasn’t come close to gelling as yet. They spend the early part of games making the opposing starter look good. To date, Texas has only scored 5 runs in the first inning and have scored in the 1st in only 3 of their first 22 games. In the first three innings of games, essentially the first time through the line-up, Texas has scored only 18 of their 102 total runs scored. The second time through? A different story. 52 runs scored in innings 4, 5 and 6.
While the offense has been inconsistent, there are good signs of things to come. Texas is showing a more discerning eye so far in 2013. Last year, they struck out 17.7% of the time. So far in 2013, that’s down to 15%. Meanwhile the walk rate is up from a year ago, from 7.7% to 8.6%. Part of it is due to the arrival of Lance Berkman, but the approach preached by new hitting coach Dave Magadan plays a large part as well. Taking more pitches is one thing. It’s staying patient while still being able to swing with authority that will come in time.
Meanwhile, backing up the great pitching has been pretty stellar defense. Thus far, Texas has only 8 errors in the first 22 games. How much has the defense improved? Well, when your Gold Glove-winning third baseman is the player with the most errors on your team, that has to tell you something. Yep, Adrian Beltre has three E’s for the Rangers. Who doesn’t have errors? Shortstop Elvis Andrus, for one. Not a single E-6 on his ledger. On the entire 25-man roster, only four different Rangers have been charged with errors. Not one of them is a pitcher or a catcher. The catching tandem of newcomer A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto hasn’t allowed a passed ball as yet. Rangers pitchers have only 5 wild pitches.
In the most telling defensive statistic of all, Rangers opponents have only stolen four bases in the first 22 games and been caught three times. A year ago, 80% of the steals against Texas were successful and opponents stole 108 bases in all. At the current rate (which of course won’t remain this low), that figure will be more like 30 by season’s end. I’m not going to say this is all Pierzynski, as he’s not known as one of the greats in cutting down would be thieves. Part of it is due to Rangers pitchers not allowing as many runners to reach base in the first place. Currently, Rangers pitching is giving up fully one less hit per 9 innings than they did a year ago. Fewer base runners fewer steal opportunities. Still, it is a dramatic improvement thus far over a year ago and one that bears remembering as the season progresses.
Pitching and defense winning games for the Texas Rangers. Whoever would’ve thought it possible?
- Nick Tepesch impressive in big league debut, leading Rangers to 6-1 victory over Rays (sportsblogs.star-telegram.com)
- Rookie Tepesch stymies Twins in Rangers’ 2-1 (sacbee.com)
Prediction: Yu Darvish will be the American League starting pitcher in this year’s All-Star Game.
Those who follow Derek Holland on Twitter know Dutch has been known to unleash torrents of of 140-character phrases letting us know the utter fearsomeness of one Chuck Norris. Chuck can do no wrong in Derek’s eyes. If you take the first five starts of 2013 and combine them with the last month and a half of the 2012 season, a case can be made for substituting the name Yu Darvish in place of Chuck Norris. Darvish is not only winning, he’s often making opposing offenses look silly while doing it. It wasn’t just the near perfect game in his first start against the lowly Houston Astros. Darvish was golden last week against the Seattle Mariners in a 7-0 win. Wait, you might say. Aren’t the Astros and the Mariners notoriously bad offenses? You can’t count them. First of all, the Astros offense isn’t as bad as it looked the first week of the season. The Mariners also are an improved offensive team from their previous two seasons. Even if I were to grant you your point, though, last night’s gem against the Los Angeles Angels should dispel any doubts you might have had. The Angels sport the most dangerous line-up in the American League with the likes of Trout, Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo. All Darvish did against them last night was fan 11 batters in six innings of work. Darvish has not given up a run in three of his five starts. The two starts he gave up runs, he was bothered by a blister in his throwing hand. His current scoreless streak is at 18.1 consecutive innings. He’s faced 13 batters this year when he’s gotten ahead 0-2. Ten of them subsequently struck out. Darvish has an arsenal of up to ten different pitches. He can throw them all at varying degrees of speed. The second time he faced his old teammate Josh Hamilton last night, Darvish started him off with a sub 62 mph curve ball. Hamilton flailed helplessly at it. The very next pitch, though taken for a ball, was a 98 mph fastball. Try adjusting to something like that regularly. In this case, it’s funny because Darvish lost that battle with Hamilton, but the hit Josh got was a little nubber on the infield that may have been an out had Darvish not stumbled when he arrived at the first base bag.
There’s so much wonderfulness to see of Yu Darvish. The link below shows batters swinging and missing at five different pitches in Yu’s arsenal, all superimposed on each other:
This, courtesy of the Rangers: Darvish is the only pitcher since 1916 with 3 starts of 6 IP, 10 Ks or less and 3 hits or less in his 1st 21 games. Then there’s this gif showing all of Darvish’s K’s against the Angels last night, this one courtesy of shutdowninning.com. Note especially the bender that froze Mike Trout:
Since August 28th of 2012, Yu Darvish has gone 9-2 for the Rangers with a 1.77 ERA, a o.79 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in only 76.1 innings pitched, a rate of 11.55 K’s per 9 innings pitched. Opposing teams are hitting a putrid .147 in that time. He’s only given up one home run in that span. Yu Darvish is truly the first starting pitcher the Texas Rangers have had since Nolan Ryan that I would stop whatever I’m doing just to watch him pitch. He has talent, he has charisma, he has a chance to become the most dominant pitcher ever to come out of Japan. I’m pretty sure I’m glad he’s pitching for the Texas Rangers, too.
- Baseball: Darvish strikes down Angels for 4th win (english.kyodonews.jp)