On Tuesday night, Darvish lost to the A’s 6-2, picking up his third loss of the season. Two of those losses have come at the hands of the division rival A’s. It was only his fourth loss at home of his career — and three of those have come against the A’s. Back in May, Darvish found himself on the wrong end of a well-pitched 1-0 game, but he was less effective on Tuesday, allowing six hits and five runs (four earned) over six innings.
The key to the A’s offensive attack on Tuesday was the approach of left-handed hitters Brandon Moss, John Jaso and Seth Smith. Moss and Jaso took advantage of some mistake pitches from Darvish, launching solo home runs to right field on inside fastballs.
It’s really interesting how the A’s seem to have Darvish’s number, since he’s one of the game’s most successful (and most-heralded) pitchers. They routinely have issues battling the likes of Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers and other top-tier pitchers of that level, but for whatever reason Darvish seems to struggle against the A’s hitters.
Maybe it has to do with the patience they employ at the plate, not swinging at some of his off-speed pitches, or maybe they get in his head somehow. Whatever the case may be, Darvish struggled again on Tuesday and the A’s took full advantage.
With the win, Oakland moved back to three games ahead of Texas in the AL West with two more games left in the four-game series.