Yu Darvish’s Kryptonite? The Oakland A’s

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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.

Rafael Devers won’t visit White House with Red Sox

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The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.

However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”

Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.

Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.

Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.

No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.