Yu Darvish earned his first career complete game shutout as the Rangers defeated the Miami Marlins 6-0.
It was the Rangers 12th shutout of the season, the second most in the majors. Darvish struck out ten, for the 24th time in his career, and never once allowed a Marlin to reach second base.
“When he found his rhythm, he just did what Yu Darvish does” said manager Ron Washington. “Make pitches, get quick outs, and he was strong the whole night. He certainly gave us what we needed, in getting back in the win column.”
After giving up a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich, Darvish was able to settle down. He gave up six hits, but also collected three double plays, a rarity. Though giving up a single to Yelich in the third, Darvish was able to work out of the inning using only four pitches. Darvish is an ace, a great pitcher, but collecting that first complete game shutout tonight for him was huge.
“It’s not that easy to throw shutouts at the major league level, I don’t care how good of a pitcher you are” said Washington. “There’s many more in his future, the guy can pitch.”
Darvish has come close to a complete game shutout many times in his year, but tonight it wasn’t something he was even thinking about. After shutting Giancarlo Stanton, one of the most powerful hitters in the league down, when Darvish found out he was coming back in the ninth, Stanton was all he could think about.
“I wasn’t really conscious of throwing a complete game” said Darvish. “But when Wash told me I was going in the ninth inning as well, I decided to go, and I wanted to face Stanton again, so I just focused on facing one hitter at a time.”
Stanton did single off Darvish in the ninth, but a double play and one last strikeout gave Darvish his first complete game shutout. The shutout though, would have not been possible had the Rangers’ offense not produced.
Texas got a big jump in the fourth, when Chris Gimenez walked, and Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus each singled to load the bases for Shin-Soo Choo. A double from Choo scored all three runs, and broke a 0-18 skid for Choo.
With Darvish on the mound, four runs would have been enough. But back-to-back singles from Leonys Martin and Gimenez in the fourth, and Andrus and Choo in the fifth would each add an additional run.
After going 3-6 during this homestand, the Rangers now head on the road for nine games against division rivals Seattle, Oakland, and L.A. The Rangers have had success on the road this year, and are hoping the momentum for Darvish’s performance helps them continue that trend.
“We all know that having Yu on the mound for this last game here was huge” said Gimenez. “Gives us the opportunity to end this homestand on a good note, and ride into this nine-game roadie with some momentum.”
Nick Tepesch takes the mound Saturday, as the Rangers face the Mariners in Seattle. Game time is slated for 9:10 p.m. CT.