Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 9, Rangers 2
Yu Darvish set a Texas Rangers record for doubles allowed with seven and gave up six runs as the Rangers fell, 9-2, to the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a three-game set at Fenway Park.
What it means: The Rangers lost their second game in a row after a four-game winning streak. The Angels and A's are playing each other on the West Coast, so they'll wait to see which team gains a game on the Rangers.
Darvish struggles again: Doubles dominated the night for Darvish as he gave up seven of them (out of the 11 hits he surrendered), a Rangers record for doubles allowed by one pitcher. ... He allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and nine strikeouts. It's the fourth time in five starts that Darvish has given up at least five runs in a start. ... Darvish is 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA in his last six starts, which include 24 walks and 48 strikeouts. ... The 11 hits allowed by Darvish are a season-high. It ties his career mark, set three times in Japan (the last Aug. 13, 2010).
Doubles record: Darvish gave up seven doubles Monday, a new Rangers record, which was previously six by six different Rangers. The last was Luis Mendoza in 2008. Here's the list of pitchers who have allowed seven or more doubles in a game in the last 10 years, courtesy of Mark Simon at ESPN Stats & Information (the MLB record is 14 set in 1883):
|Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan weighs in on Roy Oswalt's unwillingness to pitch, Yu Darvish's inconsistency and more.
Yu Darvish: 9 in 2012
Jason Berken: 7 in 2009
Schilling: 7 in 2007
Roy Halladay: 7 in 2003
David Wells: 7 in 2003
Walks hurt: Walks have been an issue for Darvish all season and were again Monday. The biggest walk: A one-out free pass in the fourth inning to Ryan Kalish, the No. 8 hitter batting .205 this season. That started a three-run inning for the Red Sox, who got a single, two doubles and a sacrifice fly to extend the lead.
Not much offense: The Rangers managed just two runs on eight hits Monday. That included a ninth-inning home run over the Monster by Adrian Beltre. ... The Nos. 1-3 hitters were 2-for-11 with a walk and no RBIs on Monday. ... Meanwhile, the top-4 Red Sox hitters were 11-for-18 and had eight RBIs.
Early run: Nelson Cruz's leadoff double -- hit the other way down the right-field line -- followed by David Murphy's single gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Red Sox had the overshift on against Murphy and he found the big part of the field, going to left-center to drive in Cruz on the single. ... Cruz had two doubles and a single in the game and may be heating up. ... He was just 3-for-23 in his last six games prior to Monday and an extra-inning hit on Sunday in Kansas City snapped an 0-for-11 drought for him.
Murphy continues to deliver: Murphy has been one of the club's top offensive hitters the last few weeks, particularly the last 10 games. Coming into the game, Murphy was hitting .438 (14-for-32) with five doubles and six RBIs in his previous nine games to get his season average over .300. At one point, Murphy had a 7-for-7 streak with runners in scoring position.
Trio of doubles: The Red Sox hit three doubles -- one off the Green Monster and two down the right-field line -- in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Two of the doubles were hit on first pitches from Darvish. Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both scored in the inning. ... Speaking of a trio of doubles, Dustin Pedroia had three doubles Monday off Darvish.
Picked off: Cruz got his second double of the night to lead off the fourth, but was promptly picked off second by starter Aaron Cook. That erased a leadoff runner in scoring position and the Rangers didn't score in the inning.
Tidbits: Mike Napoli threw out Mike Aviles trying to steal second in the sixth. It was just the second time this season that a runner had been thrown out trying to steal on Darvish. That's something he has to work on. But Napoli's throw was on the money and Ian Kinsler did a nice job of catching and quickly applying the tag. ... Kinsler made a great diving stop in the eighth, but his throw from his knees pulled Mitch Moreland off the bag. ... Michael Kirkman gave up two runs in his second inning of work on a Crawford double and an Adrian Gonzalez single.
Darvish strikeouts: Darvish struck out nine Red Sox, increasing his total to 154 in his first 21 big league starts. Elias Sports Bureau says Darvish is only the fifth pitcher in the last 50 years to reach the 150-strikeout plateau in his first 21 starts of his career. Here's the list of most strikeouts the past 50 years in first 21 starts:
Hideo Nomo: 188
Kerry Wood: 185
Mark Prior: 166
Dwight Gooden: 165
Yu Darvish: 154
Up next: RHP Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.82 ERA) hopes to bounce back from his rough Rangers debut against left-handed pitcher Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36 ERA), who did not pitch well against Texas earlier this season. The game starts at 6:10 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.