Yu Darvish could have pitched the eighth inning, but told the Texas Rangers’ coaching staff he felt a little fatigued after seven scoreless innings.
Darvish had only thrown 99 pitches up to that point and retired the final eight batters he faced, but said he generally feels fatigued after seven innings.
“I was a little bit fatigued, but I told them I could still pitch,” Darvish said through a translator. “But I also told them you might be better off with a [Tanner] Scheppers than taking me out to the mound again in the next inning.
“Anytime I throw more than seven innings, I feel a little fatigued after that so there’s nothing special today.”
Darvish has pitched into the eighth inning in three of his 12 starts this season, including a season-long 8 2/3 innings start in his 2013 debut on April 2.
The 99 pitches, meanwhile, are the fewest Darvish has thrown since an 85-pitch outing on April 7 against the Angels.
But Darvish admitted he didn’t have his best stuff Sunday against Kansas City. Four of his seven innings were 1-2-3 innings, but he battled out of jams the other three.
The biggest threat came in the second when the Royals loaded the bases with no outs. Darvish got Jeff Francoeur to fly out to center, and then Craig Gentry threw out KC’s Billy Butler at the plate trying to score on the play.
“My hats off to Gentry for that great play he made,” Darvish said. “If it weren’t for that play, I think I would’ve struggled a lot more. But I knew after that play, I was able to regroup myself and as long as I stayed tough and patient, I’d get through those innings.”
Darvish got out of the second-inning jam, and another in the fourth after Butler drew a leadoff walk and Mike Moustakas reached on a hit by pitch. In the fifth, Alex Gordon reached on a one-out single but Darvish retired the next two batters.
Darvish didn’t allow an extra-base hit on the day, and had two walks with six strikeouts.
“I think it was a really meaningful outing, the fact I was able to shut them out for seven innings despite all the stuff I didn’t have today,” Darvish said.-- Drew Davison