If I told you that Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander were going head to head, and both would throw over 60 pitches by the 4th inning, one would walk in two runs and would be chased by a three run homer from a guy hitting .184 with no homers on the season, would you believe me?
The Rangers beat the Tigers last night 10-4, thanks to a 7 run inning off arguably the best pitcher in the game. Verlander gave up 8 runs total, increasing his ERA from under 2.00 to over 3.00 in just one game. He walked in two runs in one inning after only walking in three runs in his entire career. To top that off, he gave up a three-run homerun to Geovany Soto, who was homerless on the season and hitting below the Mendoza Line. And it wasn’t just a homer. It was a frozen rope line drive that was absolutely crushed.
Darvish had his struggles as well. He gave up 3 runs in that very long 3rd inning, starting with a homer to Don Kelly, the man with one of the top three most generic names in baseball. Kelly, like Soto, was hitting sub-.200 without a single homer on the season. Darvish also let Jhlonlnlly Perahhlaaaatttaa hit a solo shot to lead off the 4th. He did not have his good stuff, but the Ranger offense gave him a sizable enough lead that he didn’t need it.
Probably the most controversial point of the game was when Ron Washington decided to let Darvish pitch the 8th inning after having thrown 115 pitches with a 10-4 lead. Darvish did fine and finished with over 130 pitches, but c’mon. They had a six run lead. There was no need to send him out there again. That’s why you have Derek Lowe and others like the new guy Burns in the bullpen. I know Darvish is a beast who threw 100+ pitches routinely in Japan. But this guy is by far the ace of the squad, and arguably the clubhouse leader for the Cy Young. Let’s not waste him this early in the season. Especially with a six run lead.
In other game notes, Mitch is now at the top of my list for boy baby names. Moreland kept the Rangers in that 7 run 3rd with a bases loaded two out double, which made Soto’s homerun possible. He added an opposite field double later off a lefty reliever. That was probably the most impressive hit he had. If Mitch is finally learning to take lefties the other way, he’s going to cement his place at first base for the Rangers.
Nelson Cruz struck out three times before hitting a solo homerun to right in trash time. That seems to be Nellie’s MO. He either launches a Cruz Missile or k’s trying to.
Overall, a crazy unpredictable game. I love those, especially when the Rangers come out on top.