Yu Darvish might very well have had his worst outing of the young 2014 season on Monday night in his own personal hell. But the Texas Rangers ace fought through six innings and kept his team in the game in a come-from-behind Rangers win against their fierce AL West rival Oakland A's.
Darvish entered the game 1-6 with a 4.30 ERA in seven career starts against the A's. He was 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA in two career starts at O.co Coliseum. He wasn't at his best on Monday night, but he was definitely better than he has been against the green and gold.
Darvish allowed all three of his runs in the third inning after he was staked to an early 1-0 lead after a Shin-Soo Choo leadoff homer was the first run the Rangers have scored all season with Darvish in the game. In that third inning, he allowed a homer, a double and a two-run single. He got out of a jam late in the third inning and another in the fourth when he struck out Josh Donaldson to leave the bases full.
Darvish struggled with his control for much of the night, walking a season-high four batters and tying a season-low with six strikeouts in six innings of work — a season-low in innings worked through his four starts.
But for Darvish, getting a team W against that team, in that building, is a big deal, and to take the first game of a season series against a rival with half the roster on the DL sends a statement, regardless if its April or June or August. But then again, what else would you expect with your ace on the hill?