In his third Major League start since returning from Tommy John surgery, Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish was pulled after the fifth inning of Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros with "shoulder tightness," according to the Rangers' television broadcast.
Darvish had just thrown a 63 mph breaking ball for a strikeout in the fifth inning when he started stretching out and shaking his right his arm. When he walked the next batter, the Texas Rangers' pitching coach and trainer made a visit to the mound. Darvish then finished the inning.
The decision was described as a "precautionary measure." The Rangers said an examination by team physician Dr. Keith Meister revealed no issues.
"I just noticed some body language, started stretching his arm a little bit, a little out of character," manager Jeff Banister said. "Looked like he started regulating the fastball a little bit."
But the right-hander from Japan didn't sound too concerned after a 3-1 loss to the Astros when he said neck tightness caused some tightness in his shoulder.
"I believe that tomorrow, I think I can play catch, no problem," Darvish said through his interpreter. "Everybody told me after the Tommy John surgery you go through all those small things from the different places on your body. I think it's one of those things and I'm not too concerned about that."
The Rangers had planned for Darvish to throw up to 95 pitches after he won in each of his first two starts. The right-hander had struck out seven, walked four and only allowed one earned run on 76 pitches before leaving with the game tied at 1.
"I felt like overall it went pretty well," he said. "I was a little bit all over the place, but compared to the last outing, I feel my pitches are all better, and overall I gave up one run."
The 29-year old Darvish is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his three starts this season. Before making his 2016 debut May 28, Darvish had not pitched in the major leagues since August 2014.