If it seems as if Yu Darvish is having more fun this season it’s because he is.
The Rangers’ ace, who starts Tuesday’s series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Globe Life Park, is enjoying his first season at full health after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2016. Darvish’s success so far this season probably doesn’t hurt in the feel-good department either.
6 Quality starts in eight outings for Yu Darvish, who leads the Rangers’ staff.
“Last year, I couldn’t afford to have fun,” said Darvish, who is 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA. “I was so focused on my body. This year, physically I feel pretty good so I think that’s why I can actually have fun right now, because my body feels good.”
Another contributing factor? The Rangers are winning. Their five-game win streak helps provide an overall positive mood for the team, which has them looser.
“No matter what happens [Sunday], we’ve got a winning streak going, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “Every time we go out there we’re trying to win.”
Nothing has helped the Rangers get back on track more than their starting pitchers, who have a majors-leading 24 quality starts. Darvish leads the club with six quality starts in eight outings.
The Rangers’ rotation ERA leads the American League at 3.36, just a tick behind the Dodgers (3.34) atop the majors entering Sunday’s games.
Darvish tipped his cap to the Rangers’ advance scouts, video personnel and the pitching coaches for good plans.
“I feel like we have a great scouting staff who do the videos and advanced scouts who give us the data and the coaches modify it to each starting pitcher and we’ve been able to execute it on the field,” he said. “That’s’ why we’ve been successful.”