For pitchers, it doesn’t get much better than the gem Yu Darvish pitched on Monday afternoon for the Texas Rangers. After bullying the Houston Astros in a near perfect game in April, Darvish fanned 15 Houston batters and allowed only one hit, a solo home run, in a one-hitter victory.
Rangers pitcher A.J. Pierzynski was tossed from the game for arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa, who ruined Darvish’s perfect game in the sixth inning with a bad call on a 2-2 slider. With Giovani Soto catching after that, Darvish didn’t miss a beat, with his only non-perfect pitch resulting in the solo shot by Astros catcher Carlos Corporan.
Darvish is easily on pace to win the AL Cy Young Award in just his second major-league season. He’s proven that Japanese “import pitchers” can be worth the money as Texas spent over $100 million to get him, including a bid of $51.7 million just for the right to talk to the right-handed phenom. Now having won eight in a row behind Darvish’s incredible pitching, the Rangers are back in first place in the AL West and are looking to ride their ace to what’s eluded them the past few seasons: the franchise’s first World Series trophy.