Yu Darvish has taken the baseball world by storm to become one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
The third-year Texas Rangers pitcher finished as the runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting in 2013 and appears to have just as good a shot as anyone to bring home the hardware as the league's top pitcher this season.
Yet, with all of Darvish's success (and there's been a lot of it) one team has had his number over the course of his big-league career, which now spans two years and a month. Of course, that team (the one he faced in his last start) will try to once again own the Rangers' ace on Monday night as the Rangers and A's will meet for the second time in as many weeks with a three-game series at Globe Life Park.
In Darvish's last seven starts against the A's, after winning his first career start against the Rangers' biggest rival, he's 0-6 with a 4.89 ERA. Part of that has obviously been his own fault, as evidenced by his ERA, but he's also received hardly anything in the way of help from his offense, as the Rangers scored two or fewer runs in five of those six losses.
Darvish was OK against the A's in a no-decision last week, lasting six innings (his shortest outing of the year) while struggling with command with four walks and six strikeouts.
In Darvish's four starts this season, the Rangers are undefeated despite the fact he just has a 1-0 record to show for his pitching as that lack of run support has carried over to this year. But the Rangers have done a nice job this year of winning games their ace starts, and they hope to continue that trend on Monday against who might be the A's best pitching in the young Sonny Gray, who they beat last week on a day when Martin Perez threw his second straight complete-game shutout.
Maybe Darvish can get some home cooking after his struggles in Oakland last week, but what it all boils down to is him pitching well enough to keep his team in the game against another good pitcher. That's what you want your ace to do.