Monday was a rough day at the office for Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
The second-year big-leaguer, who is projected to be the Rangers' ace this year, allowed his first hits and his first run of the spring in a 2-1 loss to the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Darvish was once again phenomenal, despite the fact he allowed a handful of hits and gave up a run, striking out five batters in 3 2/3 innings of work.
"Overall, I think today's outing was really good," Darvish told the media through his interpreter. "The last outing, I only pitched my fastball and slider. I threw everything but my two-seamer today."
By everything, he meant everything. In fact, Darvish said two of the five hits allowed were off pitches he would never throw in a game — just pitches he was messing around with. Two more were infield hits. That leaves one hit off a legit pitch that was a well-hit ball.
His manager was particularly impressed with his slider and fastball as Darvish's ERA skyrocketed to a 1.10 this spring, to go with 10 strikeouts and just two walks.
"For two innings he had a snap-dragon slider, a lot of pop on his fastball," Washington said. "It was quick and sharp and had a lot of break to it. He had a lot of pretty good hitters buckling at the knees today."
Sounds like it might be a special season for Yu.