The results were better in Yu Darvish’s second major league start this afternoon against the Twins, but he was still pretty shaky.
Darvish allowed two runs (one earned) over 5 2/3 innings before being pulled after 102 pitches. Not too bad, right? Well, he also allowed 14 baserunners (nine hits, four walks and a hit batsman) and loaded the bases on three separate occasions, including when he was pulled for Robbie Ross in the bottom of the sixth. His line would have looked a lot worse if Ross didn’t get Justin Morneau to pop out to end the threat.
Through his first two starts, Darvish has allowed seven runs (six earned) on 17 hits over 11 1/3 innings to go along with an underwhelming 9/8 K/BB ratio. It’s way too soon to make any judgments about him moving forward, as he has fantastic stuff and a varied arsenal at his disposal, but he obviously needs to be a lot more efficient.
The Rangers ended up winning the game 6-2, as Adrian Beltre drove in a pair of runs and Josh Hamilton went 3-for-5 with a long solo home run.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.