Yu Darvish becomes first rookie since Daisuke Matsuzaka to reach 200 strikeouts

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Yu Darvish outdueled fellow countryman Hisashi Iwakuma last night by holding the Mariners to just one run on two hits over seven innings as part of a 9-3 victory. He struck out nine en route to his 15th win and now has 205 strikeouts over 176 2/3 innings this season.

Darvish is the 16th rookie in major league history to reach at least 200 strikeouts as a rookie. The last one to do it was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who struck out 201 batters in 2007. Kerry Wood (1998) and Hideo Nomo (1995) are the only other pitchers to get there since 1984.

While it looked like Darvish was hitting a wall in early August, he is on a pretty nice roll right now. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.32 ERA and 51/13 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings over his last six starts. He has walked more than two batters just once during that timespan while his ERA is down to 4.02 for the year. Maybe the Rangers have an ace after all.