Yu Darvish made his Major League Baseball debut back on April 9 against the Seattle Mariners and struggled to an 11-5 victory. Chalk it up to nerves or whatever, but Darvish barely got out of the first inning before eventually settling in and going 5 2/3 in the victory.
Since then, he'd been phenomenal, turning in a sub-2.00 ERA since that first inning of work in his debut. Then came Monday, when Darvish saw the Mariners for the second time, as Seattle became the first team to see the Japanese phenom for a second time. The results weren't good for Darvish, as he had his shortest outing of his brief MLB career, going just four innings and leaving the game with 5-0 deficit in an eventual 6-1 loss to the Mariners and Felix Hernandez.
Darvish struggled with his command, much like in his first outing, as he walked a career-high six batters, and three of those walked batters ended up scoring. He rarely walked anyone in his Japan days, and clearly pitching to MLB hitters is a little different as walks have been an issue for Darvish all season.
It's not time to panic by any means, or even worry for that matter. But it's just a bit odd that Darvish has had such trouble against such an offensively anemic team like Seattle.
Seeing Darvish for a second time could have had something to do with Seattle's success, too. His next start is slated to come against the Toronto Blue Jays at home this weekend, which will be the second time the hard-hitting Blue Jays have seen him this year.
The first time around Darvish won the battle, going seven innings, giving up just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. It'll be interesting to see how he does against the Jays and a recently heated-up Jose Bautista.