A.J. Pierzynski with starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
When Yu Darvish went on the disabled list, forcing him to miss just one start prior to the all-star break, it wasn't too concerning as it was deemed nothing more than a precautionary move with some soreness coming up in Darvish's upper back.
On Monday night as he came off the DL to face the New York Yankees and their albeit struggling lineup, it was very clear that the Rangers' ace is just fine.
Darvish tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings and threw just 90 pitches after Rangers manager Ron Washington had said Darvish would not be on any type of pitch-count limitation. Darvish appeared to be a little upset when he was pulled after allowing two base-runners, but after Monday's game he was appreciative of Washington's monitoring.
“It was a little bit earlier than I thought,” Darvish said through his translator, “but I had about 15 days with a break, and I think Wash was thinking about my body and how I felt, so I really appreciated what he’s done."
Darvish threw a majority of fastballs after going through his unnecessary flirtation as a self-described (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) "breaking ball pitcher" and after plunking Brett Gardner to start off his night he proceeded to hold the Yankees hitless into the fifth inning.
"I was able to locate my fastball for strikes, so even early in the count I was able to throw all of my pitches," Darvish said. "So I think it went smoothly overall."
We said it when Darvish hit the DL, that it was a wise move for the Rangers and for Darvish to time it where he would just miss one start because of the break and to recharge their ace for the second half. If Monday night was any indication, the move worked well.