They are baby steps, but at least they are headed in the right direction.
Wednesday evening against the Athletics in Arlington, Yu Darvish made his sixth appearance of 2016, his third since returning from his latest stint on the disabled list. And for a second straight game, Darvish went six innings, this time throwing 93 pitches, giving up two earned runs while striking out six and allowing no walks.
If the Rangers are to slow their recent slide, they’ll need more of this from Darvish. Texas’s starting rotation has been decimated by injuries with both Colby Lewis and Derek Holland placed on the 60-day disabled list. Normally, a rotation that includes Darvish and Cole Hamels could withstand some adversity. But Darvish, at 29-years old, has thrown just 38 innings this season. He also missed all of 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
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Despite all of those obstacles, the Rangers still entered their game with Oakland Wednesday tied for the most wins in the American League (58) with the Baltimore Orioles. If they’d like to continue to maintain that level of success with just 67 days remaining in the regular season, they’ll need Darvish to perform as he did Wednesday night consistently.