HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 2, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
It created a buzz all over television and talk radio that lasted for days following Thursday's series-opening win that featured Rangers ace pitcher Yu Darvish and all-world Tigers ace Justin Verlander, Darvish was trotted back out for the eighth inning with a six-run lead and threw 130 pitches despite the fact the game seemed to be well in hand.
Darvish struggled early in the game and then cruised over the final four or five innings and gave a big favor to the Rangers' bullpen that had two rookie starters following him and then Derek Holland on Sunday, who failed to get out of the fifth inning.
Now, the second-year Rangers ace, who leads baseball in strikeouts and is 7-1 on the season, will make his next start on Tuesday night against the Oakland A's, a team that has had his number over his brief career, thanks partly to the fact that they like to work pitchers into high pitch counts, something Darvish is susceptible too as a strikeout pitcher.
The 130 pitches was a career-high since Darvish has been stateside. It wasn't rare for him to throw at least that many pitches, if not more, in Japan, where pitchers work just once a week instead of every fifth day.
He tied his previous career-high two starts ago when he threw 127 pitches against Boston in a win. It'll be interesting to see how long Rangers manager Ron Washington lets him go on Tuesday given all the backlash that came out of Thursday's start and with a bullpen that got worked pretty heavily on Sunday and Monday.