ARLINGTON — No, it wasnt a good day to be a high-priced, marquee major-league pitcher.Cy Young winner David Price, torched for 10 hits and eight runs as the Rays lost 13-0.Matt Cain, hammered for a nine-run fourth inning in the Giants 14-3 defeat.Philadelphias Cole Hamels, nine hits and eight runs allowed while losing 9-4.National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, 10 hits and eight runs allowed as his new team, the Blue Jays, also fell 13-0.And Detroits Justin Verlander, a Cy Young winner just two seasons ago? He lost to the crippled, last-place Yankees 7-0.Some days you dont get what you paid for. Those five aces total more than $93 million in 2013 salaries.Amid this cruel karma, the Texas Rangers Yu Darvish and Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels lashed themselves to the mast and braved the weekend gusts at Rangers Ballpark on Sunday night. Whatever pitching duel ESPN had been trumpeting all week, it all unraveled in the first inning, when Darvishs breaking ball couldnt find the plate but Lance Berkmans fly ball found the home team bullpen.Maybe it was just a coincidence, but Darvish and Weaver, two of the American Leagues best, pitched only two 1-2-3 innings between them Sunday. By the time Darvish left the game, bothered by skin coming off his ring finger, after five innings, the Rangers had carved a 4-3 lead.One batter into the following inning, Weaver was gone as well, having suffered an announced strained left elbow when the Rangers Mitch Moreland sent a line drive back through the box.The Rangers bullpen took over the rest of the way as Texas won the rubber match of the three-game series 7-3.Its an ill wind that blows no good. Berkman and David Murphy reminded the Angels of that when they clubbed first-inning homers off Weaver, erasing the early 2-0 lead that Darvishs wildness had helped to cause.Six days after his near-perfect gem in Houston, Darvish quickly was anything but flawless on this night. He walked Mike Trout to open the game, hit Erick Aybar and then walked Albert Pujols to load the bases.A double-play grounder by Josh Hamilton minimized the damage and might be deemed the biggest at-bat of the game.The Rangers added a deciding fourth run in the fourth inning, when third base coach Gary Pettis waved Geovany Soto around on Ian Kinslers single to left field.Trout can dazzle in so many ways on a baseball field, but his outfield throwing arm is clearly his kryptonite. Soto scored easily, and two innings later Weaver was gone.An announcement in the press box reported that X-rays of Weavers left elbow were negative. Morelands screamer back to the pitchers mound appeared to just miss hitting Weavers elbow. But in the Angels haste to twist out of the way, he came away yelping and shaking his left arm.An MRI is likely in store for Weaver when the Angels return to Anaheim.But so went the day. Darvish lasted only 85 pitches before failing to go back to the mound for the sixth inning.Manager Ron Washington had addressed rumors of a Darvish blister issue before the game.Its not a rumor, Washington said. Hes taking the ball tonight. Its not an issue, but its not a rumor.In todays modern medicine, they have stuff for that. Spray stuff, crème stuff. There may even be an anti-blister infomercial on TV late at night.After throwing 111 pitches in his memorable effort against the Astros, though, Darvish may well have needed a short work night. His command wasnt anywhere close to being as sharp as it was in Houston.Yet Darvish has so many pitches, which seem to arrive at home plate from so many angles, that hes shown a knack for being able to work his way out of the gnarliest jam.After all, it was a good day to be resourceful.Aces were wild, literally. But Yu and the Rangers had the cards to survive.
Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @gilebreton