After some recent questions were raised about Yu Darvish and his mental fortitude as a legitimate ace, the second-year Japanese phenom took some issue with questions asked about the subject.
On Wednesday, when he takes the hill at Oakland's O.co Coliseum, he'll have a chance to shut up his doubters if he can turn in a dominant outing in a game the Rangers desparately need to win — the difference between leaving Oakland with a two-game lead in the AL West and leaving town in a dead heat.
This season, Darvish has not gotten much run support. But the argument from some has been that an ace doesn't need run support all the time. Darvish has been given the likes of two and three runs and hasn't been able to make it enough, and home runs have been a problem recently.
Darvish is 0-2 against the A's this season, with a 3.75 ERA with both games having been played in Arlington. Oakland is much more of a pitchers' park, and Darvish will need to take advantage of that.
Strikeouts are nice, and he leads the world with 236 of them, but in a park like Oakland's, you can afford to pitch to contact some, as well.
To put it simply, Darvish needs a big outing on Wednesday, not only for his team's standing in the division but also for his own peace of mind.