Texas Rangers

Yu Darvish flashes dominance days before his son is to be born

Yu Darvish pitched with a purpose Saturday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.

Perhaps it’s because he was making his fourth spring start. Maybe he’s finally feeling back to speed two years removed from Tommy John surgery.

Or maybe the pending birth of his son, due in a matter of days back in Texas, had him eager to plow through the Cincinnati Reds so he could head back to Dallas-Fort Worth to be with his expectant wife Seiko.

Although his pitching line wasn’t perfect, the Texas Rangers right-hander showed flashes of brilliance over  4 2/3 innings. He worked around three of the Rangers’ five errors and a few mistakes of his own — two walks and a two hit batters — to hold the Reds to two runs (one earned) on two hits, including an infield single off Darvish’s glove that allowed a fifth inning-opening walk to come around to score.

The outing left Darvish feeling prepared for the season.

“I think I’m getting pretty close,” Darvish said. “I got the changeup, cutter, and sinker working really good, so I’m feeling pretty good today.”

Lead-off walks in the second and fifth led to the only trouble Darvish faced. Both times the runner scored. In the second, after a hit batter and a throwing error led to the run, Darvish retired the final two batters with two strikeouts on a combined seven pitches. Devin Mesoraco doubled with one out in the third, but Darvish induced a 6-3 double play to end the inning. He breezed through the fourth on eight pitches.

“I struggled to command my four-seamer. That inning I switched to my sinker and I was able to pound the strike zone and it was a good outing,” he said. “My sinker was working really well. When I threw just eight pitches in one inning I felt like nobody can beat me, but the last inning didn’t go well, so ...”

The Rangers pulled Darvish after 77 pitches (his target was between 70 and 80) with two outs in the fifth. And infield single and second hit batter was enough for manager Jeff Banister.

“We could have pushed him to one more, but felt pitching the one inning after the walks and the evaluation of the stress level … I felt that was as far as we needed to take him,” Banister said. “I have a very positive feeling [about] where he’s at.”

Darvish said his second child with his wife should provide extra motivation on the field.

“It’s a big event for me and my family,” he said. “This is not my first time, but every time it seems unreal and I don’t know what to expect. It always gives me new emotions when it happens.”

Darvish and the Rangers don’t expect him to miss his next scheduled start later this week, although pitching coach Doug Brocail told Japanese media that Darvish would get an extra day of rest this week, potentially making his next scheduled start March 24.

“He’s got the swing and miss [stuff],” Banister said. “When you look at the situations when he’s going to give up a walk here or there but [having] the ability to pitch through it is key.”

Yu’s spring progress

Yu Darvish’s spring outings, including a simulated game against Rangers minor leaguers and Saturday’s start against the Reds:

Date

IP

H

ER

P

F 26

1.2

1

0

37

M 2*

2.2

3

3

51

M 7

3.0

4

2

59

M 13

3.1

4

1

63

M 18

4.2

2

1

77

Up next

vs. Mariners, Surprise Stadium, 3:05 p.m. Sunday, KTXA/Ch. 21

Rangers probable pitchers: RHP Eddie Gamboa, RHP Matt Bush, RHP Keone Kela

Mariners probable pitchers: LHP Dillon Overton

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

In Goodyear, Ariz.

Texas

200

010

000

3

Cincinnati

010

010

001

3

Texas ab

r

h

bi

Cincinnati ab

r

h

bi

C.Gomez cf

3

0

1

1

Hmilton cf

3

0

1

1

Blinger pr

1

0

0

0

P.Ervin cf

2

0

1

0

Sh.Choo dh

3

0

0

0

Msoraco c

2

0

1

0

T.Snder ph

1

0

0

0

S.Trner c

0

0

0

0

Rya.Rua lf

3

1

1

0

J.Votto 1b

3

0

0

0

C.Arryo lf

1

0

0

0

C.Wlker 1b

1

0

0

0

J.Gallo 3b

3

1

1

2

R.Rburn lf

2

1

0

0

Altmann 3b

0

0

0

0

Elzalde lf

1

0

0

0

E.Andrs ss

3

0

0

0

Z.Czart ss

2

0

0

0

Mrtnson ss

1

0

0

0

Z.Vncej ss

1

0

0

0

J.Loney 1b

3

0

0

0

Jnnings rf

3

0

0

0

B.Hayes c

3

0

1

0

J.Wnker rf

1

0

0

0

Rbinson rf

2

0

0

0

Irbrren 3b

3

0

0

0

A.Ibnez 2b

3

1

1

0

Kvlehan 3b

1

0

0

0

T.Renda 2b

2

1

0

0

Alcntra 2b

1

1

0

0

A.Chcin rp

1

0

0

0

S.Rmano rp

2

0

0

0

Wallach ph

1

0

0

0

Totals 30

3

5

3

Totals 32

3

3

1

E—Wright (1), Gallo (2), Martinson (1), Hayes (1), Ibanez (1), Turner (1). DP—Texas 1, Cincinnati 1. LOB—Texas 2, Cincinnati 7. 2B—Ervin (4), Mesoraco (1). HR—Gallo (3). SB—Robinson (3), Ibanez (1), Renda (2). CS—Rollin (1), Ervin (1).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Darvish

4  2/3

2

2

1

2

6

Slack H, 1

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

Alvarez H, 2

1

0

0

0

0

1

Bass H, 1

2

1

0

0

1

0

Wright BS, 0-1

1

0

1

0

0

0

Cincinnati

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Arroyo

1  2/3

2

2

2

1

2

Chacin

1  1/3

0

0

0

0

2

Romano

4  2/3

3

1

0

0

3

Orewiler

 1/3

0

0

0

0

0

Coleman

1

0

0

0

1

0

HBP—Darvish (Turner). WP—Darvish. T—2:37. A—3,515

In San Antonio

Cleveland

000

301

000

4

Texas

031

000

31x

8

Cleveland ab

r

h

bi

Texas ab

r

h

bi

B.Guyer dh

2

0

1

1

DShelds lf

2

0

0

0

Paulino ph

2

0

1

1

J.Hying pr

1

0

0

0

Ramirez 2b

3

0

1

0

N.Mzara rf

2

1

1

0

W.Cstro 2b

2

0

0

0

Tendler rf

2

0

0

0

Chsnhll cf

3

0

0

0

M.Npoli dh

1

0

0

0

T.Isacs rf

2

0

0

0

M.Lipka ph

1

0

0

0

Almonte lf

3

1

1

0

Mrman ph

1

1

1

1

T.Mrphy lf

1

0

0

0

Mddbrks 3b

1

1

1

1

Clbello 1b

2

0

2

0

J.Mrgan 3b

2

0

1

0

Wi.Pena 1b

2

0

1

0

S.Lerud c

2

1

0

0

Rbrtson rf

2

0

1

1

Trevino c

1

0

0

0

G.Allen pr

2

1

0

0

C.Pello cf

2

1

1

3

Mrtinez 3b

1

1

0

0

Hineman cf

2

1

1

1

Mendoza pr

1

0

0

0

Bernier ss

1

0

0

0

Stamets ss

3

0

0

1

L.Marte ss

1

0

0

0

Y.Chang ss

1

0

0

0

Knr-Flf 2b

2

0

0

0

J.Lucas c

2

1

1

0

L.Mndez 2b

1

1

1

0

Salters c

1

0

0

0

J.Prfar 1b

2

0

0

0

Al.Burg 1b

1

1

1

2

Totals 35

4

9

4

Totals 28

8

8

8

E—Middlebrooks (3). DP—Cleveland 1, Texas 2. LOB—Cleveland 8, Texas 1. 2B—Ramirez (6), Pena (1), Lucas (1), Mazara (3). HR—Moorman (1), Puello (2), Heineman (1), Burg (1).

Cleveland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Clevinger

1  1/3

1

3

3

4

1

Crockett

 2/3

0

0

0

0

2

Merritt

3

2

1

1

1

3

Narveson L, 0-2

3

5

4

4

0

2

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Gee

3  1/3

6

3

2

2

2

McCain H, 1

 2/3

0

0

0

0

1

Webster BS, 0-1

2  2/3

3

1

1

1

4

Dragmire W, 1-1

1  1/3

0

0

0

0

1

Alvarez

1

0

0

0

0

1

HBP by—Gee (Lucas). WP—Gee, Webster. T—2:46. A—28,674

Yu’s spring progress

A look at Yu Darvish’s spring outings, including a simulated game against Rangers minor leaguers and Saturday’s start against the Reds:

Date

Opp.

IP

Hits

ER

BB/SO

Pitches (strikes)

Feb. 26

Royals

1.2

1

0

2/2

37 (19)

March 2

Sim game

2.2

3

3

2/3

51 (31)

March 7

Rockies

3.0

4

2

2/3

59 (34)

March 13

Giants

3.1

4

1

2/6

63 (39)

March 18

Reds

4.2

2

1

2/6

77 (NA)

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