Last time Ron Washington and Yu Darvish had a publicized pow-wow about Darvish's game, he went on a roaring eight-game tear to close out the 2012 season and pitch the best over a consistent period of time that he ever had as a Texas Ranger.
That was, until this season.
Over his first nine starts of 2013, Darvish was phenomenal and an early frontrunner as the AL Cy Young winner starting the year 7-1 with a minuscule ERA. Over that time, Darvish allowed just 37 hits and seven home runs in more than 60 innings. Now, over his last 46 innings, he's surrendered those same totals.
He's also been relying more on his breaking pitches and less on his fastball and cutter, which both dominated hitters down the stretch in 2012, and it's becoming more common that hitters can predict what is coming from the pitching Jedi.
"I think he's going to have to change his way of doing things because it looks like teams are starting to make adjustments," Washington told ESPN Dallas a day after Darvish struggled in a Rangers loss on Tuesday. "I'm not going to try to take away from him being Darvish, but he might have to change up something. What we're going to talk to him about changing up is not for the press right now."
Next up for the Rangers ace is a stacked Cincinnati Reds lineup on Sunday, and Washington hopes to see a better result than the 5 1/3 innings he turned in on Tuesday in his Yankee Stadium debut.
"The game is adjusting, re-adjust, adjust, re-adjust," Washington said. "We just got to re-adjust. And then after we re-adjust we're going to have to continue to adjust, re-adjust, adjust. It goes on like that."