So the question asked was “how would Yu Darvish look in his second start back for the Texas Rangers?”
Focus turned to Friday night in Arlington as Darvish made his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Durability would be a priority in the test to see if the Rangers ace is truly back. How would the arm hold up? Would he still have movement on his pitches? Would fatigue be an issue?
The answer? Darvish passed the test.
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Against a tough Seattle Mariners lineup with first place in the A.L. West on the line, Darvish allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five in the 7-3 win. Third baseman Adrian Beltre knocked in five of the seven runs with a 3-run homer and a 2-run double.
Back to Darvish, his stuff looked good earlier on, at one point reaching 97 on the radar gun in the fourth. Breaking stuff still had plenty of bite, so there really wasn’t any “second start letdowns.” It did seem like he started losing some gas in the fifth.
The Rangers appeared to have him on a 95 pitch count this time around, easing him back to normal. Darvish finished at 88 and could have possibly finished the sixth inning, but there’s no reason to push it in the first week of June. The bullpen closed the door after that, and Darvish earned his second win in as many starts.
It’s still a process, but you got to like how things are playing out so far. There may be bumps in the road along the way, but from what we saw Friday night, Darvish is not only back, but looks better than ever.