An 8-3 record. A 2.78 ERA. A .190 batting average against. The ace of the AL West’s top team — Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish boasts all these accolades.
He’s also just over halfway to 300 strikeouts at just over halfway through the season. The question is, can the Japanese sensation keep it up?
I don’t see why not.
While it could obviously go either way as of right now, if Darvish continues at this same pace over the final three months of the season, he has more than a puncher’s chance of becoming the first pitcher to accomplish the feat since both Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling registered over 300 Ks in 2002, when the veterans struck out 334 and 316 batters respectively.
The wins may not be coming as of late, given that Darvish is 1-2 with five no-decisions in his last eight starts, but the strikeouts continue to pile up, with the 26-year-old averaging over eight punchouts a game in that span, including a 14-strikeout performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 27 and a 10-K outing against the Oakland Athletics on June 18.
Those numbers are extremely promising for the right-hander because they represent his recent “struggles,” which have not seen a dip in the amount of batters he has made look foolish with his incredible repertoire of pitches.
The fact of the matter is that the former Japanese national team standout — who nearly tossed a perfect game against the Houston Astros in his first start of the season on April 2, a game that also saw him record 14 Ks — has as good a chance as anyone has in over a decade to reach the 300-strikeout mark.
Whether or not he does it remains to be seen.