ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 16: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers reacts after Mike Zunino #3 of the Seattle Mariners flied out to end the top of the sixth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Despite some local media folks trying to tell you otherwise, remember this, Rangers fans: You have yourself a tried and true ace on your pitching staff. Enjoy it. Breathe it in. Go to the park when he's on the mound, for goodness sake.
Yu Darvish showed what makes him so great in yet another no-decision on Wednesday night against one of his peers in the game, Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, aka King Felix.
The third-year Rangers starter struggled early in Wednesday's game and allowed two second-inning runs off a few hard-hit balls, including a Nick Franklin triple to right-center in his first MLB game of the season. Even his early outs often came on hard-hit balls. It was pretty clear from the get-go Darvish didn't have his best stuff, and he showed it with some antsy body language on the mound.
After an adjustment which saw him abandon his approach from his first two starts — throw strikes early and often — Darvish reverted to his old self and started guys out with breaking balls out of the zone, and it worked effectively in keeping the Mariners off-balance.
What initally looked like a game Darvish might struggle to get five innings, he ended up going seven and allowed nothing on the scoreboard after that second inning.
Sure, his streak of 22 innings to start this season without getting a single run of support while he was actually still in the game continued. That streak is pretty unreal. But he kept his team in the game, and once again, the Rangers won a home game in walkoff fashion — their fourth of the season in just nine home games.
So there you go, folks. That's what an ace does. Even on a night when he had far from his best stuff, Darvish was virtually dominant aside from a few mistakes in the second inning.