Yu Darvish twice threatened to throw a perfect game against Houston last season, including his 2013 debut in which he retired the first 26 batters before Marwin Gonzalez singled through Darvish’s legs to spoil history.
The Astros are headed to Globe Life Park this weekend, and Darvish will start the opener of the three-game series Friday. But he does so with no regrets about missing out on perfection.
“I don’t remember much, but I don’t think I was in perfect condition,” said Darvish, who had dealt with neck stiffness before his 2013 debut. “I think I was as usual.”
Darvish will make his second start of the season Friday after again dealing with spring neck stiffness. He worked seven scoreless innings Sunday, and held Tampa Bay to an 0-for-10 showing with runners in scoring position after allowing a hit in every inning.
“I had men in scoring position in several occasions,” Darvish said. “But I was very calm and able to pitch my game. That is probably the one thing I was able to get out of that game.”