Why did the Rangers let Yu Darvish throw 130 pitches in a blowout?

30 Comments

Last night’s big Justin Verlander-Yu Darvish matchup proved to be a bust, as the two aces combined to allow 12 runs. Darvish at least managed to fight through some early struggles to complete eight innings, whereas Verlander failed to make it out of the third inning in the worst start of his career.

Of course, Darvish needed 130 pitches for those eight innings and considering the Rangers were up 9-4 after five innings and 10-4 after seven innings it seems odd that they’d let him pile up so many pitches in a game that wasn’t really in doubt. After completing six innings of four-run ball Darvish had thrown 102 pitches, but they trotted him out there for two more innings in a blowout.

Asked to explain afterward, here’s what manager Ron Washington said:

I saw the big lead; the lineup they got, it’s not soft anywhere in it. Even though we had the lead, I wasn’t comfortable. I felt like he needed to get us through the eighth inning to give our bullpen a break, and he certainly did that. … Yu Darvish, in my opinion, is a stud. And I don’t think we overworked him tonight.

So … basically Washington kept Darvish out there because he didn’t feel comfortable with a 9-4 or 10-4 lead.

Darvish racked up some huge pitch counts in Japan and said afterward that he felt perfectly comfortable going to 130 last night, but it’s worth noting that he also threw 127 pitches on May 5, with a 105-pitch start in between. To be piling up that sort of workload this early in the season seems awfully short-sighted and sure enough Todd Willis of ESPN Dallas reports that “Rangers general manager Jon Daniels met with manager Ron Washington after Thursday’s game to discuss Darvish’s pitch count.”

Dodgers-Cubs game was postponed by rain and faulty lighting

Associated Press
3 Comments

Last night’s Dodgers-Cubs game at Wrigley Field was postponed, but not just for rain. They had a lighting malfunction as well.

The storms rolled in a little after the game would’ve started, and the Cubs had the tarp on the field in preparation. It was a pretty big rain, though. Check this out:

Still, modern drainage is a wonderful thing, so the Cubs did have a chance to get this one in not too long after the rain stopped. But then something else happened: the lights on top of the right-field roof went dark:

(AP)

That got fixed, but then got un-fixed again soon after. By then there was another storm system getting ready to come in, so the Cubs just called it a night, citing the weather and “a partial power outage.” The lights are fixed this morning and the Dodgers and Cubs will play a split doubleheader starting today at 1PM Eastern.

In other news, it’s been almost 30 years since the first game with lights was played at Wrigley Field. The first effort at that was rained out, by the way, so they had to do it again the next day. It would seem that neither then nor now are the Baseball Gods terribly thrilled with night baseball on the North Side.