Whatever was bothering Yu Darvish in his second start, certainly didn’t bother him this game. He looked more like the almost perfect guy in his first outing of the season. Wasn’t quite THAT good, but man, he looked good here. His pitches were moving – he mowed guys down. He very much looks like what the Rangers expected to get when they sent a truckload of money to his Japanese team, and then offered Darvish himself another truckload of money. Take that Dice-K!
In all, Darvish went 7, allowed just three hits. He did walk three, which for him is a lot. Struck out TEN. Few too many pitches for my liking (111), but not unrealistic at all. Overall, can’t argue with much here at all. It raised his overall season record to 3-1, with an ERA of 2.03. At this rate, he seems like a lock for a Cy Young ! There, how’s that for my best impression of a Dallas Cowboys fan talking about baseball? :) But seriously, it was the kind of performance that was a joy to watch. Love it when our guys do that kind of thing.
Robbie Ross & Michael Kirkman followed – and continued the performance. They each went one inning, allowing just a single hit each. Ross was stellar, striking out the side around the hit he allowed. He didn’t dominate, as he had 23 pitches in his inning, but striking out the side when not allowing any runs will always be a positive! :)
Offensively, the Rangers busted out with their biggest inning of the year so far. Before we got to that though, Jeff Baker, who is doing QUITE well as the utility infield guy smacked his first home run of the season. In fact, Baker officially went 1-3 in the game, but also walked, and scored twice. He’s batting .308 for the year. I confess to thinking “Really?” a bit when they announced him for the bench. But it seems to have been working so far this season.
The bottom of the fifth was our biggest individual inning output of the season so far. We plated six. Came on a nice sequence:
- Andrus groundout
- Berkman single
- Beltre walk
- Cruz single
- AJ single (score Berkman & Beltre)
- Jeff Baker walk
- Murphy groundout (Cruz scores)
- Gentry triples (scoring AJ & Jeff Baker)
- Kinsler doubles (scoring Gentry)
- Andrus lines out
That was a nice sustained performance there. We need to have more of those. So this was a game where we had some great pitching, and our offense finally woke up. 7-0 win I’ll take all the time!