\Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics on July 1, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas.
By this point, everyone knows what a rollercoaster the rookie year of Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish has been. Through the first two months of the season, Darvish was an ace. Then he began looking more like a No. 4 pitcher as he had trouble with a high walks total.
Currently, Darvish is 12-9 with a 4.51 ERA with 172 strikeouts and a lofty total of 80 walks.
But over his past two starts, before he was skipped over in his previous scheduled start due to quad tightness, Darvish was starting to show signs of turning things around.
In those two starts, he went 1-1, allowing six runs in 13 2/3 innings, but his better outing might have been the one he lost in his most recent start back on Aug. 17 in Toronto. In that game, Darvish was tagged early on in the game with a home run but went on to strike out 10 batters and walk just one, matching his lowest walk total of the season when he walked one and struck out 10 against the Detroit Tigers back in June.
The Rangers are still counting on Darvish to be a valuable part of their of their playoff rotation, and continuing this recent trend could loft him up to No. 3 or possibly even No. 2 status, which is ideally what the club wants to see. He was not brought here to be a No. 4 pitcher, or really a No. 3 for that matter, but it is his first year.
He can start his mission to get back on track tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays and James Shields, who has traditionally been very tough on the Rangers.