This is the kind of outing I envisioned happening every other start when we signed Darvish. Well, OK – maybe not THAT many, but I figured we’d see this kind of performance more than we have. Not that I won’t take it. It was a great, dominant start. For the 8th time this season, Yu Darvish struck out at least 10 batters. That was something that eluded ALL Rangers pitchers for the better part of of a decade, it felt like. Mark Clark certainly never did that (I haven’t mentioned him in awhile, I was overdue for a Mark Clark shoutout).
Darvish went seven innings. Allowed six hits and two walks, but NO runs. Struck out ten. Came out of the game with 110 pitches, which is a tad high, but not outrageous. Mike Adams and Joe Nathan followed up, each pitching an inning of shutout relief. If you count the strikeouts from the relievers, the Tampa Bay Rays struck out FOURTEEN times in this match. A very nice number to see thrown out there by our pitching staff. But definitely, this was Darvish’s night. He looked good, he pitched well, he dominated the Rays for the win.
Thing is, James Shields pitched better, except for one pitch. If you take out the one run he allowed on a solo home run to Ian Kinsler, Shields had a better line. Seven innings, three hits, 1run, 2BB, 8K. He deserved the win, but he was bested by Darvish and Kinsler’s bat.
I’m hoping to see more like this when we get into the playoffs.