ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 11: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Miami Marlins in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 11, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers are about to hit the road for a pivotal nine-game trip, and if not for Yu Darvish's masterful performance on Wednesday night, there's a greater-than-zero chance they would've been doing it on a five-game losing skid.
You see, the last time the Rangers had won a game prior to Wednesday's 6-0 win over Miami was the last time Darvish took the hill, when he beat the Cleveland Indians before the Tribe rolled off three straight wins to close out there series.
On Wednesday, Darvish pitched a gem, notching the first shutout of his career as well as the first complete game in his third season in the big leagues. He struck out 10, including the final of his 27 outs, and kept the Marlins' offense off-balance all night.
"I knew I was going to do it [complete game] sometime, but I'm glad that I was able to do it," Darvish told reporters through an interpreter on Wednesday night.
Darvish did everything on Wednesday. He stopped a four-game skid. He started a win streak heading into a key nine-game road trip — all against AL West rivals in front of them in the division standings — and he rested an overworked bullpen a day before a team off-day.
That means, the bullpen will be well-rested in Seattle when they'll likely be needed with Nick Tepesch, Joe Saunders and Nick Martinez set to start the three games.
Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez said the Darvish start was exactly what the ailing, reeling Rangers needed heading into the West Coast roadie.
"We all kind of know that having Yu on the mound for this last game was huge," catcher Chris Gimenez told reporters. "He gave us the opportunity to end this homestand on a good note and ride this into the nine-game roadie against the division rivals. Hopefully, we can ride this."
Just what you'd expect from an ace, and there are few better, or even on par with, Darvish.