Admit it, when Anthony Bass singled to score two runs in the second inning, you figured it wasn’t going to go the Rangers way. However, the Rangers fought back for the second straight game and got the win for Yu Darvish who also picked up his first Major League hit. That means he is 2,500 hits behind Ichiro for the active Japanese Major League career lead. I say it’s doable.
I wrote a couple of days ago about Alberto Gonzalez and that he would have to be called upon in a big spot and today he came through, with a single to score the Rangers first run. People talk about how pinch hitting is the hardest job in sports. How about going 20 days with two at bats and coming through with an RBI single. Yes, he left three men on base today but come on. Anything this team gets from Gonzalez is a bonus.
Darvish also had a workhorse outing. He fought through eight innings after getting into trouble in the first couple of innings. It was the sight of the World Baseball Classic that really put Darvish on the map and he really settled down and allowed the Rangers bats to get going. Most importantly, he didn’t get flustered after giving up a two-run single to the opposing pitcher that maybe a first baseman not named Michael Young would have gotten to.
I have been really impressed with Darvish. Not only his stuff but his composure. Hard to believe he is only 25 years old and in his first Major League season. With Roy Oswalt coming, maybe he can even learn a thing or two more from a pitcher who has been almost around longer than the rest of the rotation combined.
The Rangers are now on a six game winning streak and are 10-2 in their last 12 games. The team that struggled through an under-.500 May has used the National League to get back their swagger. This team is back to being the team that makes you wonder how they are going to lose. When they play like they have against San Diego and Houston – teams in the bottom tier of the league to be sure – they show just how strong they are from top to bottom and even people who are struggling – Young and Mike Napoli – don’t tend to bring the team down.
Texas now goes home to face the Colorado Rockies for their final three interleague games. They sit at 12-3 right now and while they haven’t been playing the best the National League has to offer, they are winning teams they should be beating.