Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning. We were excited too Yu!
Sunday's game between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels was the reason the Rangers signed Yu Darvish prior to last season, the reason they wanted an ace and the reason they had Darvish set to throw on the season's final day, just in case it meant something.
Turned out, it meant everything as far as the Rangers playing in the postseason, as Sunday's win put them one step closer by putting them into a tiebreaker game.
Also, it turned out that while Darvish was plenty good, he didn't get to pitch as deep into the game as he'd liked when he was removed in the sixth inning with two outs after just 84 pitches.
Darvish had been given a 2-1 lead in the prior half-inning but couldn't hold on to it, as he gave up a single to the Angels' No. 9 hitter to lead off the inning before Ian Kinsler bailed him out with a huge double play. Then, Darvish gave up a single and surrendered a four-pitch walk to Mike Trout.
At that point, Rangers manager Ron Washington had seen enough and came to get his ace, who seemed to be visibly upset with the decision and let out a hearty yell that seemed to be a bad word that we won't repeat (yes, he knows more English than you think).
The decision didn't work out, although the decision was still the right one for Washington. He, nor the Rangers had time to see if Darvish was going to figure out whatever was ailing him. He even came out for a mound visit earlier in the game when Darvish was struggling with the team trainer and pitching coach Mike Maddux.
If Darvish is fortunate to get another start, presumably in the ALDS against Boston, he'll need to do a better job capitalizing on run support when he gets it, something he hasn't done recently.
As for that apparent injury, it's nothing to worry about, Darvish said.
“Frankly speaking, I didn’t know why they came out,” Darvish told reporters. “I was fine.”