Yu Darvish gets an A, but not against the A’s


Apr 13, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) during the game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers defeated the Astros 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher is off to another great start.  Over 3 start he has an ERA of 0.82 with 23 strike outs.  He’s again shown he’s able to make quick work of the line up and especially the Houston Astros.  Last year he almost had a perfect game against them during his first outing and again almost repeated that performance.  If you had to give Yu Darvish a grade for his past and current performance, he’d easily get an A.

Failing the course against the A’s: Although Darvish gets an A for the job he’s done so far, one team has continued to cause Darvish some trouble.  The Oakland Athletics have caused Darvish grief, especially at Overstock.com Coliseum.   When looking at the AL west foes, Oakland by far has done the most damage.   Here is a look at the numbers.

Yu Darvish @ Oakland 

  • 0-2 record over 2 starts/10.1 innings
  • 9.58 ERA
  • .282 opponent’s batting average
  • 11 hits
  • 3 home runs
  • 8 strike outs
  • 12 walks

Notice anything there?  More walks than strike outs for one.

"“Oakland has put some big innings on him,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “And it has usually started with a walk. I remember once it started when he hit a guy.  (ESPN Dallas – Richard Durrett)"

Last year the Athletics took advantage of several walks to take an early lead.  Also, they managed to tag Robbie Ross for 4 runs after Darvish exited the game.  The Rangers lost that game 4-11.

Different game plan: Today’s game plan is pretty simple, don’t allow the walks.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise also if J.P. Arencibia gets the start today to catch for Yu Darvish.  It would be easy to assume that it should be Robinson Chirinos since he’s clearly hitting and fielding better.  In the last game that Chirinos caught for Darvish didn’t go very well.  Darvish did manage to limit damage and was only charge with 2 earned runs.  Darvish didn’t appear to like the game calling by Chirinos and reportedly argued with him about the pitches he was calling.  The other two games this season have been caught by Arencibia, which were both scoreless.

Zero runs for Yu: If Yu Darvish is able to get out of the first few innings with little to no walks and no runs, the Rangers offense will need to step up and score some runs.  So far this season the Rangers haven’t give him a single run while he’s been on the mound.  The Rangers will have to capitalize on mistakes.  The Athletics currently have a league leading 20 errors this season and are on a 9 game streak with at least one error in a game.  Also, the offense has been hitting well lately, including Prince Fielder.

If Yu Darvish is able to have his normal command, the Athletics continue to make errors and the Rangers are able to score, then Darvish will be able to record his first win at Oakland.  Yes, there are a lot of ifs, but all of those have been happening recently, they just need to happen on more day.

Tonight’s game is at 9:05 PM CDT, stay up late and watch the game.  It’s Yu Darvish, anything can happen.