SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 20: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the second inning of an interleague baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on June 20, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Prior to his start on Friday night against the Houston Astros, Yu Darvish was in a bad way. He was 1-3 over his previous four starts and had walked a ton of guys. Then, he got seven days off between starts and went eight innings against the Astros in dominant fashion and only walked two batters.
So back on the normal schedule of four-days rest, Darvish took the hill on Wednesday in a pitcher-friendly park against the worst team in baseball, the San Diego Padres, and got off to a rocky start, giving up two runs in the second inning and walking two batters early.
Then, he locked himself into a zone and needed just 81 pitches to navigate his way from the third to the eighth inning after needing 41 in the first two innings to exceed his season-high pitch total of 121 against Detroit earlier this year. Over that six-inning stretch, he gave up two hits and a walk and killed two of those baserunners with a caught stealing and a double play.
Darvish, who admitted to being fatigued leading up to his start last week against Houston prompting the extra rest, said he was fine after going eight more innings on Wednesday night against San Diego.
“Stamina-wise and finishing the game, right now I have no problem,” Darvish said after the game, through his interpreter.
Darvish even got his first big-league hit, a broken-bat blooper just over the second baseman.
“I wasn’t nervous, but looking forward to it,” he said. “I enjoyed all my at-bats. To actually be up there, to see a major league pitcher, the quality, the speed and break, that was something I was very curious to see as a hitter, and I really enjoyed it.”