Yu Darvish flirted with another no-hitter against the Astros on Monday afternoon. He had a perfect game bid broken up by a walk with two outs in the sixth inning, and then saw his no-hit bid fade away with five outs to go when Carlos Corporan homered with one out in the eighth inning.
Darvish and closer Joe Nathan still combined for the 23rd one-hitter in franchise history, and Darvish set a career-high with 15 strikeouts.
But there was a sense of disappointment in the Rangers' clubhouse afterwards. After all, Darvish lost a perfect game against the Astros on April 2 when he was one out away from history.
"I thought today was going to be the day,” third baseman Adrian Beltre said. “I’m so disappointed.”
Said catcher A.J. Pierzynski: "You feel bad for the guy, for everyone associated with it, because it doesn’t happen very often."
Darvish didn't express too much disappointment afterwards, saying he is happy the team won another game.
But the last pitcher in Rangers history to have at least two no-hit/ perfect game bids broken up in the eighth inning or later was Nolan Ryan, who had five spoiled like that in 1989.
Here is more reaction from the Rangers and Astros --
Rangers manager Ron Washington: "There’s no letdown. We’re trying to get 27 outs. You don’t see many perfect games. When they got the walk, I think we still had nine outs to get. When they got the base hit, I think we had four or five to get. It’s about getting 27. We didn’t letdown. Little disappointed. History might have been in the making. Letdown? No."
Rangers closer Joe Nathan: "Wish I didn’t have to come in the ninth inning. It’s always tough to see someone miss a no-hitter or perfect game like that."
Pierzynski: "He was special today. 15 strikeouts, I don’t know how many times you see a guy with that many strikeouts. ... These situations are fun and you want to try not to screw them up. He made one mistake to Corporan and give the guy some credit."
Astros manager Bo Porter on Monday compared to April 2: "It was pretty much similar stuff. Again, you talk about a guy that has No. 1 starter stuff and knows how to use it. He throws all his pitches in any counts, he plusses and minuses his fastball. His first fastball of the game was 89. You look up three innings later, he's throwing 96. It's all coming from the same arm slot. It's pretty good."
Astros outfielder Brandon Barnes, who went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts: "He was spot on. When he's on, he's tough to hit. He leads the American League in strikeouts. His wipeout-slider, he can throw it three different ways. You never know when it's coming, so it takes you off his fastball and he just drills a 95 mph fastball in there. The difference I saw from last time was his velo was up and his slider command was just spot on -- the guy could throw it wherever he wanted to."
-- Drew Davison