ARLINGTON, Texas — A day after Boston pounded Yu Darvish for 11 hits and six runs in early August, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington summoned his 26-year-old pitcher to the visiting manager’s office in Fenway Park.
“So many people were talking about the negative. I wanted him to know that I saw the positives through the negatives,” Washington said of the conversation. “I saw him relaxed. I saw him compete. I saw a pitcher who didn’t back down when he walked a batter.
“I saw him attack the strike zone. I saw him work fast and he just kept coming after them. When I told him that, Darvish’s face just kind of lit up and that’s when I knew that he knew [he] could do some good things for us.”
Well, that qualifies as an understatement.
Since the butt-kicking in Boston eight starts ago, Darvish is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA and a pair of no decisions. He has struck out 67 and walked 15, while allowing just 35 hits in 57 1/3 innings.
Six times he has pitched at least seven innings, and twice he has gone 6 2/3.
He has been — dare we say it — an ace.