Facing a must-win situation against a pitcher that has muzzled the Rangers in previous outings Yu Darvish was at his most wild ever on Thursday.
He gave back an early lead walked or hit a total of seven batters piled up pitches by the bundle and made an early exit.
And when it was done and the Rangers had escaped Tampa Bay with an 8-2 win a split of the four-game series and control of the wild-card race manager Ron Washington couldn’t heap enough praise on Darvish.
“If he didn’t know what it means to grind he knows it now” Washington said. “He was effectively wild all night and he got into some trouble but when he had to make a pitch he made one. He could not find a rhythm or an arm slot all game but he kept battling.
“Sometimes you have to find a way to do things even when you are not at your best” Washington added. “He did that tonight.”
Darvish could only get through five innings in 109 pitches but by that time he had something he hasn’t had in what seemed like forever: A lead...