It's been a rough month or so for Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish.
He's not getting wins, which isn't that big of a deal, but more importantly, his team is losing games he starts at an alarming rate — something not becoming of an ace.
Darvish's performances have been far from bad, but sometimes they've been inefficient and he has not been the horse he was earlier in the season when he was routinely getting into at least the seventh inning.
In his last start — a 9-5 loss to the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros — Darvish didn't even get out of the sixth inning, and that has led to people examining his pitch selection (rightfully so) and realizing he's throwing less fastballs and more breaking pitches, and hitters are making him pay.
“The American media tells me what to do,” Darvish said through an interpreter on Tuesday in his weekly press conference. “I don’t think the Japanese media ever did that. We play a game on the field, not on a desk. And I think we are the experts about the game.”
This came days after Darvish proclaimed himself to be a "breaking ball pitcher," which is most definitely not what the Rangers signed him for as they saw him as being different than most Japanese imports in that he can blow people away with his upper-90s fastball while also possessing all of the crazy breaking pitches Japanese pitchers are often known for.
In the nine starts since Darvish improved to 7-1 with his 130-pitch outing against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers, he's 1-3 with a 3.07 ERA — definitely nothing to shake a stick at, but not exactly what we'd seen from Darvish through the first part of the season either. The Rangers are just 2-7 in those games, and it's becoming almost routine that the Rangers win series with the only loss coming in Darvish's start.
That's not going to continue. Darvish is too good and has had some tough luck with a lack of run support, and this is most likely some overreaction after he lost to the Astros in convincing fashion on Sunday afternoon.