While the team and Darvish both denied it afterwards, I cannot help but feel that the blister/finger issue that took Darvish out of his last start early contributed here. He was wildly inconsistent. There was an inning or two where Darvish looked like he did in the (almost) perfect game. Then there were innings where he looked like he did on his first ever Major League start last season. Most of it was in the middle, but the inconsistancy didn’t feel “right” to me. There was something off, there was something keeping him from pitching like he did in the second inning of this game the whole game.
Technically, he pitched a “quality start”. Six innings, allowed three runs on three hits and one walk. He also struck out eight, giving him 28 strikeouts for the season so far in a total of 19.2 innings pitched. That’s a very healthy number there. But, Seattle’s starter (Iwakuma) was a bit better. In fact, their lines were fairly similiar. Check this out:
Darvish: 6IP, 3H, 3R, 1BB, 8K, 108P
Iwakuma: 6.2IP, 3H, 1R, 1B, 6K, 90P
We were bested, and even though Darvish was wild, he still held it together enough to get a (technical) quality start. I suppose the only thing that Darvish bested Iwakuma at was in the longball department. Iwakuma gave up one to Ian Kinsler, and that home run was a “New Safeco” home run. They brought in the walls a few feet during this past off season, and had they not done that, Kinsler’s home run would have been a warning track out. As it was, it was almost caught. Funny thing is that AJ hit a ball to right field which barely missed being a home run by a few feet. Now AJ’s shot would have been an out last year – as it was this year. But he came close. AJ’s been hitting the ball well this year so far. Nice to see he’s (so far) holding up his offense from last year.
That home run was the only run the Rangers would get the whole night. Six hits, just five singles and a home run. There wasn’t a lot of vareity, either. AJ had two singles. Kinsler had the home run and a single, and the remaining two were by Elvis & Beltre. That was it. Both walks the Mariners gave up were to Moreland. So our offense was very spotty this game.
I really wanted to say “good pitcher’s duel”, but I can’t fully bring myself to say that, given how all over the place Darvish was.