Yu Darvish wasn't the Yu Darvish the Texas Rangers have grown accustomed to over the course of nearly a month leading up to the MLB all-star break.
In his five starts leading up to the break, Darvish was 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and saw his season ERA climb from 2.11 to 2.97.
After pitching a clean inning in the All-Star Game, Darvish made the Rangers' first start out of the break on Friday night in Toronto and was dazzling, working 6 2/3 innings and fanning 12 Blue Jays hitters, keeping up his league-leading 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
On Wednesday night, Darvish will make his next start in The Bronx and try to tackle the short porch in Yankee Stadium, where he's only pitched once in his career. In that outing, Darvish allowed three runs — all on solo homers — in 5 1/3 innings while taking a no-decision.
Darvish recently made some comments about how it can be hard to stay motivated at times like these, with his team in a losing tailspin, and the Rangers likely didn't enjoy hearing those comments. Wednesday night will be a good chance for the ace to turn in another stellar, deep outing and get the Rangers' back in the win column after a 14-inning loss on Tuesday that saw the Rangers use their entire bullpen.