Honest Yu do, honest Yu do.
In Darvish’s 100 pitches Wednesday at the O.Co, the A’s came up with only five hits. But they did a great job of not chasing pitches out of the strike zone and walked six times while striking out just four times against the American League’s leader in strikeouts (240.).
But two things: One, three of those who walked would score, and, two, two of those hits were two-run homers, each scoring a hitter who had walked ahead of the big fly. Also, a walk leading off the second inning was followed by another walk, and a deep foul out down the right-field line moved a runner to third with one out, and the hot Coco Crisp then lofted a sacrifice fly to right, and the A’s scored a run for a 3-0 lead without the benefit of a hit.
So four of the six walks Darvish issued contributed to three of the five runs he yielded in five-plus innings. A walk leading off the sixth inning and a two-run homer by Daric Barton ended the Rangers ace’s day. He left down 5-2 in what would be an 11-4 A’s victory in the rubber game of a three-game series in Oakland that moved the A’s back into a tie for first place in the American League West at 80-59 with 23 games to go in the regular season.
The loss brings Darvish’s career record against the Oakland A’s to 1-5 with a 4.86 ERA (20 er in 37.0 ip), and in Oakland he’s now 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA (11 er in 10.1 ip). So two batters and no outs into the sixth, it was sayonara, Yu.
Over the last eight days or so, the A’s have beaten Anibal Sanchez, the AL ERA leader, the reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and knocked then 19-1 Max Scherzer out of the game trailing 6-1 before the Tigers rallied for a last-out 7-6 walk-out win at the expense of the A’s bullpen and closer Grant Balfour in Detroit.
The Oakland A’s batters have to be feeling supremely confident.