On Monday afternoon, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish took another step forward in ripening his bid for the 2013 Cy Young Award with an absolutely dazzling performance against the Houston Astros.
Darvish was flirting with a no-hitter in the eighth inning when Carlos Corporan homered to end the pursuit of a no-no. Texas pulled Darvish after the inning with the Rangers holding onto a 5-1 lead. Joe Nathan closed the door, but Darvish allowed only the one run on just the one hit in eight dominant innings. He improved to 12-5 on the season and more importantly kept the pressure on the Oakland Athletics in what is quickly turning into a neck and neck race for the AL West.
The highlight stat of Darvish’s performance against the Astros on Monday afternoon however, was his strikeouts. Darvish mowed down 15 Houston batters in his eight innings of work and if you do out the math, that’s 15 strikeouts in Darvish’s 24 total recorded outs. That’s an efficient and dominating performance to say the least.
While the Rangers are looking to collectively make their stab at a divisional crown as the regular season nears its stretch run, Darvish is the one pacing the way on the mound for Texas. We are only 12 days into August, but Darvish has already recorded three victories, including this dominant performance. He has only allowed four runs collectively in those starts and Darvish is really turning up the heat on other Cy Young Award contenders.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS