On August 6, the Rangers’ Yu Darvish took the hill at Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox and was knocked around for 6 2/3 innings to the tune of 11 hits and 6 runs in a 9-2 loss. He also surrendered four walks, in what was one of the rockier outings of Darvish’s young Major League career and the eighth loss of his rookie season.
Since then, Darvish has been good, and manager Ron Washington--who has made a point to check in on the 25-year-old Japanese national periodically throughout the season--believes that the Boston game was a turning point.
"I think he figured it out in Boston when he got beaten around a little bit," Washington said, per the team's official website. "He's been different ever since. His mindset, attitude, has changed."
One of the meetings between the manager and the starter came after the aforementioned loss. In six starts since that meeting, Darvish is 4-1. Since the calendar turned to September, Darvish has given up just seven hits and six runs (five earned) while making a push to go into the postseason as the Rangers’ No. 1.
"Each meeting was a learning experience for both of us," the manager said. "He opened up to me. Maybe I mentioned some things that clicked with him. Sometimes as a manager you've got to help a guy release it. Everybody talks so much about the negative. There's always good inside the bad if you look for it. I expressed the good."