In Japan, starting pitchers typically throw once a week with six days of rest between starts. In 'merica, pitchers are accustomed to throwing every fifth day with just four days between starts. We should've known Yu Darvish would run into some fatigue problems in his first season pitching stateside with the Texas Rangers, it's likely many folks just forgot about reality because of the larger-than-life persona Darvish brought with him from Japan.
Heading into his previous start on Friday night against the Houston Astros, Darvish was in a pretty bad way and had admitted to being fatigued. That's why the club decided to give him seven days off heading into the start. It clearly paid off as Darvish struck out 12 with two walks in eight innings of work, picking up his eighth win of the season against the Astros.
Now, he's back to normal rest as he'll take the field tonight at pitcher-friendly Petco Park to take on one of the worst lineups in all of baseball in the San Diego Padres looking for similar results.
“The feel of the ball, the way it’s coming out feels good right now,” Darvish told reporters through his interpreter. “I feel confident I can continue on this track.”
Prior to the win over the Astros, Darvish was 1-3 in his previous four starts with that one win not even being impressive as he went just five innings in a 12-6 win over the Blue Jays. In the three losses, he went four, 5 1/3 and 6 1/3 innings and walked 15 batters (six apiece in two of the starts, three in the other).
The walks were clearly a problem for Darvish recently, and he seemed to put an end to that problem against the Astros. For the season, he has 46 walks and 88 strikeouts. Not an absolutely terrible ratio, but not a good one either, and nothing close to what he was billed as coming from Japan. Hopefully he's figured things out. We'll have a chance to see this evening.