Jun 1, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcherYu Darvish
(11) throws during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:Brad Mills
-USA TODAY Sports
What would this Texas Rangers season be without right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish? It’s hard to imagine that right now or even think about it. When he missed his start last week and was sent for an MRI that sent everyone into a panic.
With the rash of injuries this season and several of them season ending injuries every little bump and scratch has been bad news for the Rangers.
When I heard the news about Darvish’s neck issues even I figured he would be placed on the 15-day disabled list, mainly as a precaution. But after the MRI came back “unremarkable”, that’s how the doctor described it, and he was given the all clear, he was able to return to the mound.
On Sunday, Yu Darvish again pitched another great game recording his 4th shutout of the year. That marked the Texas Rangers 11th major league leading shutout of the season. Which is good for the Rangers since their run production hasn’t been that great this year.
Watch Darvish strikeout 12, one with a nasty 59 MPH curveball
The Rangers haven’t played well when the opposing team scores 4 or more. They only have a record of 5-32 this season.
Right now with the way the offense is scoring, they need their pitching staff to keep it a low scoring game. The Rangers offense is only scoring an average of 4.17 runs per game. That is a pretty big drop off from their 5.27 runs per game back in 2011.
You can’t count on a shutout, but with Darvish you can count on him to do something pretty amazing. Even if the game isn’t a shutout he’s out there doing his best to keep the other team from even hitting the ball. When you have a pitcher who can change speeds from one pitch to another from 10-15 MPH, batters have a hard time adjusting. Mix that with a wicked 59 MPH curve ball that hits the strike zone, they don’t have a chance.
Last season Yu Darvish pitched well all season, well enough to finish second in the Cy Young voting. The Rangers lost 4 games last year by a score of 0-1 last year when Darvish started a game. It makes you wonder if he would have won the award if they would have managed to win 2, 3 or even 4 of those games to help improve his record.
When the Rangers are start to stumble, Yu Darvish is there to pick them up. After being hammered back-to-back games by the Nationals, Darvish stepped up and made sure it wouldn’t happen again. That’s what I like about Darvish, he has the mental toughness to go to the mound to do his best to put the team back in the win column.
Where would this team be without him? Probably several more games back in the division for sure. Also, who would be the ace in the rotation? Maybe that would be Colby Lewis. It’s hard to imagine and something I’d prefer not to think about. Right now they have Darvish, he’s appears to be healthy and pitching on a different level than anyone else.
With the starting rotation a bit shaky, the Rangers and I’m sure fans count on him to do his best. So far this season he hasn’t disappointed.