Yu Darvish turned in the shortest start of his career last night against Oakland, failing to make it out of the fourth inning. It was his first non-Quality Start of the season and continues a career-long pattern for Darvish of struggling against the A’s.
For his career Darvish is 30-19 with a 3.29 ERA in 66 starts for the Rangers, but here’s how that breaks down:
Against the A’s: 1-7 with a 4.73 ERA in 9 starts.
Against everyone else: 29-12 with a 3.09 ERA in 57 starts.
Compared to other teams Oakland has drawn nearly 40 percent more walks against Darvish, which helps explain a lot of those overall numbers. Last night the A’s drew only two walks off him, but made Darvish throw 83 pitches to get 10 outs.
Could just be random chance or a small sample size or whatever, but the struggles against the A’s are magnified because the two teams play each other so often and are battling for division titles each season.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.