Darvish struggles as Rangers fall 4-0 to the A's

Darvish struggles as Rangers fall 4-0 to the A's

Credit: MCT via Getty Images

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) delivers against the Oakland Athletics at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Monday, April 28, 2014. (Richard W Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

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by KATY CLARKE

WFAA Sports

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM

 In what was the shortest start of his Texas Rangers career, Yu Darvish went only 3 ⅓ innings and gave up four runs, as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Rangers 4-0.

Darvish came into today’s game with the fourth best ERA in the AL, but something about his pitching was off. Though he didn’t exactly look bad, he is Yu Darvish after all, he appeared to lack the control and command that we are used to seeing with him on the mound. Darvish holds the Rangers club record of 56 consecutive starts of at least five innings, and was third in the MLB for the active streak, but unfortunately for Darvish, his streak came to an end tonight.

“I had a lack of a command on my fastball” Darvish said through his translator after the game. “It has something to do with the delivery. It had nothing to do with how they approached my pitching”.

Of course, Darvish has always struggled against Oakland. After today’s loss, his record when pitching against the A’s is 1-7. It would appear that Oakland has Darvish’s number, but Yu hopes he can change that in his next outing against the division rivals.

“They have a really good game plan against me” said Darvish. “I saw some tendencies that I didn’t really see last year. After today’s outing I learned something, so I think I’m going to take that to the next time I face them.”

Nick Martinez threw five scoreless innings of relief in his first appearance out of the bullpen and his Globe Life Park debut. After giving up only two hits all night, Martinez was able to lower his ERA to  2.81. Though we certainly didn’t expect to see Martinez in the game with Darvish on the mound, he was able to make the most of an unfortunate situation and prove that maybe he does belong in the bigs after all.

“He was tremendous” manager Ron Washington said after the game. “He really did save the bullpen. He came in and I think he put up, what, five zeroes? He did a good job. Mixed well, used all his pitches, good changeup, curveball, moved the fastball around. He did a good job, he really did. He saved us tonight.”

Martinez’s scoreless performance wasn’t enough for the Rangers to rally, as Oakland starter Sonny Gray took a page out of Martin Perez’s book, and threw a three-hit complete game shutout. It was the first time this year the Rangers were shut out, and though their hitting wasn’t exactly “on”, Gray’s pitching certainly was.

“Early on he used his fastball and then later on he went to his fastball” said Wash. “He threw the ball on both sides of the plate, he was getting inside on us, getting a little too big on us. The guy is a pretty good pitcher, tonight he showed that.”

One semi-interesting note amidst and extremely non-interesting game, is that the Rangers had three challenges today, all involving whether or not Prince Fielder tagged the base runner out at first. Ron Washington made two of the challenges, one that he won and one that he lost, and the umpires used a challenge of their own. For Rangers fans, it was nice to see that there was finally a challenge that didn’t involve whether or not a catch is in fact a catch.

Perez takes the mound for the Rangers tomorrow in an attempt to keep his twenty-six inning scoreless streak alive. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.

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