Tag Archives: Seattle Mariners

One Bad Inning Dooms Darvish In Loss To Mariners

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

The Rangers had a chance to complete the sweep against the Mariners at home on Father’s Day. It was also Darvish Day, so you had to have liked the chances of breaking out the brooms with Yu Darvish on the mound.

Turns out it wasn’t a safe bet. The Mariners wasted no time roughing up Darvish in the first inning, scoring four of their seven runs in the 7-3 win over the Rangers. Darvish allowed a total of five runs in five innings of work while striking out six.

However, that first inning seemed to follow a trend with some of his starts as the righty has a tendency of being struck by that one bad inning. In two earlier starts against the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays, Darvish was cruising before being hit hard in the fifth inning. In all three of these starts, the home run ball would be the biggest blow.

On Sunday, Darvish fell behind 3-1 in the count to Danny Valencia and then threw a fastball right in the hitting zone. Valencia didn’t miss, sending it 434 feet the opposite direction for the two-run homer. Darvish would settle down but just like in those other starts, the damage was done.

Now the term of the “ace” comes into question with Darvish, who has one of the best pitching arsenals of any starter in baseball. The argument would be that the ace closes the door and completes the sweep, which didn’t happen this weekend at the Globe. It’s not that he’s struggling on the mound; he’s just struggling at times with overcoming one bad inning.

Darvish is now at 6-5 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 15 starts this season. He’s also pitching in a contract year, with another argument over how the Rangers could possibly put him on the trade market if they fall out of the playoff race.

However, there’s no indication that will happen, at least not at the moment. The Rangers are right in the middle of the A.L. Wild Card race. Plus, Texas wants to re-sign Darvish in order to keep him in Arlington and there’s no sign that he really wants to leave the Lone Star State. The added bonus is that his presence could help the Rangers in their pursuit of Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Otani, who is a big fan of Darvish.

There are still plenty of more starts left for Darvish to prove he’s the big money pitcher. With the impending return of lefty Cole Hamels from the disabled list, the one-two pitching combo could soon be on track and ready to go as the Rangers fight for a third straight trip to the postseason.

*The Rangers start a four-game series in Arlington on Monday with the Blue Jays. It will be Toronto’s first trip to The Globe since last year’s ALDS.  Austin Bibens-Dirx gets the start on the mound for the Rangers. The righty is 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. Toronto will counter with Marco Estrada, who’s 4-5 with a 4.54 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Napoli, Rangers Put on a Power Display Against Mariners

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

Party at Napoli’s was happening Saturday afternoon at the Globe.

First baseman Mike Napoli had himself a day at the plate with a pair of home runs and four RBI’s as the Rangers continue their hot play in the month of June, beating the Seattle Mariners 10-4 in Arlington. It was Napoli’s first home runs since May 24 as he just returned from the disabled list on Friday.

The fun got started in the first inning as Napoli’s three-run crush helped capped a five-run opening frame for the Rangers. Napoli took a 1-1 pitch over the heart of the plate off former Ranger pitcher Yovani Gallardo and sent it to the leftfield seats.

But it didn’t end there.

In the sixth inning and on another 1-1 pitch, Napoli just destroyed the high fastball up in the zone and sent it for a ride. The end result was two more runs on the board and a possible mark on the Toyota sign out in the leftfield bleacher section.

In fact, the Rangers put on a power display on Saturday afternoon with a total of four homers against the Mariners pitching staff. Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo had the other two round-trippers. It had been more than a month since the Rangers had three homers in a game.

It was also a welcomed sight to see the power display from Napoli, who started to catch fire before landing on the DL with a back injury. The batting average isn’t special at .200 but he does have 13 homers in 190 at-bats. The average isn’t a worry since he’s a career .249 hitter; it’s the power that is the selling point.

All systems seem to be clicking for the Rangers right now as they fight to stay in the playoff picture and secure a spot in October for the third straight year. The Houston Astros likely have the A.L. West division title locked up. However, Texas is 8-2 in their last 10 games and is right in the middle of the Wild Card race.

The Rangers go for the sweep on Father’s Day, which is also Darvish Day. Righty Yu Darvish will get the start on the bump with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at the Globe.