Maybe it's the Seattle Mariners or Ichiro Suzuki or both.
Maybe it was all those walks.
But maybe Monday night was one of those nights that almost no pitcher is immune to during the course of a major league season.
That's what Rangers manager Ron Washington told right-hander Yu Darvish, who suffered his worst outing as a big-leaguer as the Mariners scored five runs against him in four innings en route to a 6-1 victory at Safeco Field.
Darvish walked six, including three straight to start the fourth, and saw Suzuki triple, single and drive in two runs in his first two at-bats. Suzuki is now 5 for 7 against Darvish, and the Mariners have scored 10 runs (nine earned) in 9 2/3 innings in two games against him.
After he was removed, Darvish apologized to Washington for the performance.
“Today I was apologetic,” Darvish said. “I wasn't able to go as deep in the game as a starter should and gave up those runs with only four hits.
“Overall the approach and the substance of the game wasn't that good. Even when I said that, Washington said, 'Hey, we all have games like that.' He reassured me a little bit.”
Darvish (6-2) suffered his second career loss in his second career start against the Mariners. The first, his major league debut, wasn't much better but resulted in a victory as the Rangers' offense rallied out of an early hole.
Felix Hernandez, though, is no Hector Noesi, the starter who coughed up a 4-0 lead April 9 at Rangers Ballpark.
The Mariners struck first in the first when Darvish walked Michael Saunders on four pitches and surrendered a triple to Suzuki that nearly wedged itself into the bottom of the wall along the right-field line.
After a scoreless second, Brendan Ryan started the third with a single, and Dustin Ackley followed with a walk. Following a fielder's choice, Suzuki singled to center to bring in Ackley. Saunders also scored as Josh Hamilton's throw from center field to third base went into the Rangers' dugout.
Suzuki scored on a sacrifice fly by the next batter, Jesus Montero.
“He's a good hitter,” Darvish said of Suzuki. “The first hit was a ball down and he did a good job with it. But the second hit, that ball was well over the plate.”
Darvish got Suzuki in his third at-bat on a fielder's choice, but the Mariners had already scored in the inning because Darvish started the inning with three straight walks.
Ackley made it 5-0 with a single to right field, but Darvish escaped by retiring the next three hitters. The first two outs were made at home as the Rangers played the infield in.
Darvish was at 96 pitches through four innings, and Mark Lowe replaced him to start the fifth. Washington was seen on TV having a deep conversation with Darvish.
“I was trying to explain to him that we're not out to hurt him and that was far enough,” Washington said. “This is one game he just needed to chalk up and hopefully learn from it and move forward. I tried to get him to understand that you have nights like this.
“He said he was sorry, but he doesn't have to apologies. He expected more, but it's a part of baseball.”
Darvish said that his command was sharp in the first two innings, but it abandoned him in the final two because of a problem with his mechanics.
“Out of all the walks, especially the last inning, I think that was mechanical,” he said. “After the bases were loaded, I made a quick adjustment. For the next game, I want to make sure that doesn't happen.”
Hernandez, meanwhile, cruised after being staked to a five-run lead. The Rangers had six hits against the 2010 Cy Young winner, but only three after the third. One was a solo homer by Mitch Moreland to start the eighth.
Hernandez had lost four straight starts to the Rangers.
“If you don't get opportunities against that guy, he takes it to the house,” Washington said. “Tonight, he took it to the house.”