When Yu Darvish takes the mound at Rangers Ballpark on Friday against the Houston Astros, he'll do so on seven-days rest, much more than the typical four days, or even the typical five or six Darvish got in Japan.
And judging from Darvish's last few starts, specifically his last one, he might have needed it.
In his last start against the Oakland A's, Darvish was awful, allowing six runs on six hits and six walks in a 7-1 loss to the A's. But that wasn't a new thing, as Darvish is now 1-3 with a 6.53 ERA in his last four starts and he now has 18 walks in his past 20 2/3 innings. He came over to the States with a reputation of not walking anyone in Japan, but has clearly been nibbling lately after his stellar start.
In his first eight starts of the season, Darvish was 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA, including an 8 1/3-inning gem when he gave up no runs to the New York Yankees and struck out 10 with just two walks.
After the bad loss in Oakland, Darvish said he watched video and noticed some mechanical issues that he's already fixed with the help of pitching coach Mike Maddux. He said the reason for the mechanical flaws might have been fatigue, as he's adjusting to the new work schedule in American baseball as pitchers go every fifth day as opposed to every sixth or seventh day in Japan. The Texas Rangers would obviously rather see the Darvish of the first eight starts as opposed to the last four. Hopefully, for their sake, all he needed was a little re-charging of the batteries.