SEATTLE, WA - MAY 21: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers swipes at the dirt after giving up a walk in the fourth inning to Brendan Ryan of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 21, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.�(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Yu Darvish just didn't have it on Thursday, and it was too bad considering the Texas Rangers were relying on him to salvage a split in their four-game series with the last-place Oakland A's. Instead, Darvish was awful and the Rangers lost three out of four games to a team with nearly half of its lineup hitting under .200 on the season.
In fact, with the exception of his last start against the Los Angeles Angels when he was good enough to win, great even, but was failed by his horrible defense, Darvish hasn't been good in his last four starts.
Over his last four, Darvish is now 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA with all of those games coming against teams that had previously seen him. The first time through against those same teams, Darvish was 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA. To some extent, that's to be expected, especially with Darvish's vast array of filth in his arsenal. But that's a pretty big difference, and it's admittedly a little bit concerning.
Darvish gave up six runs and six hits, didn't get out of the sixth inning and walked six batters, which tied his career high for free passes.
After the game, he had already figured out the issue with his wildness. At least he says he did.
"To break it down would be a long story," Darvish said through his interpreter. "I was aware that something was wrong but I had a difficult time fixing it [during the game]. After the game I looked at video and figured out what I was doing wrong."
It seems Darvish found some mechanical issue to attribute his wildness to, but another solution could be to trim his number of pitches. If you have three plus pitches in the majors, you're going to win a lot of games. Darvish has 7-8 pitches he uses, which is just too many. His two-seam fastball is phenomenal, his slow curve is ridiculous, and so is his splitter. Sometimes, simple is better, and that could cure Darvish's wildness woes as much as any mechanical fix.