Yu Darvish: 'I have to grind it out'

August, 7, 2012
8/07/12
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Rangers starter Yu Darvish, who has struggled in his last six starts, believes in his stuff and knows he has to stay focused and try to avoid getting too frustrated.

Darvish, who spoke to reporters (including ESPNBoston.com's Billy Humphrey) after Monday's 9-2 loss, allowed six runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings with four walks and nine strikeouts. The 11 hits were a new season-high and tied a career-high for him from Japan -- the last time he gave up 11 hits was Aug. 13, 2010.

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In his last six starts, Darvish is 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA, including 24 walks and 48 strikeouts.

"I think overall my pitches have been pretty good, but unfortunately I'm giving up base hits on hits that weren't hit too hard," Darvish said through interpreter Joe Furukawa. "Maybe giving up an extra-base hit (in the) part of the game when I shouldn't. I think it's just a combination of a lot of different things that aren't going my way right now.

"I think for anybody, you know, when things don't go their way for a period of time, I think it's natural that you feel frustrated. I think that a lot of players go through this during the year. I think at that time, it's important for me to not break, stay focused, and prepare well for each start. I think I just have to bear down and grind it out."

Darvish gave up a club-record seven doubles Monday, including three to Dustin Pedroia. Part of that, of course, is Fenway Park. The unique features of the stadium can create doubles that would be singles or outs anywhere else. But the Red Sox also hit some balls hard off the 25-year-old right-hander.

Darvish said it's difficult to "turn the page and become a new pitcher on one single day," but he's trying to get back to what he was doing in Japan. He said he went to the field earlier than he has this season and reverted back to a routine he used to follow in Japan. He said that while the results weren't there, he's going to continue to work on it.

"I've tried a lot of different things, but in the end, the Rangers acquired me for the pitcher that I was, that I am in Japan," Darvish said. "Just looking back on it, preparing and pitching the way I can, both mentally and physically, is something that I want to bring back and try to continue to do in my next outing."

Manager Ron Washington said Darvish just needs more time and will continue to work with pitching coach Mike Maddux to improve.

"I think we've just got to keep working and get him back on track," Washington said. "We know he's better than what he's shown. We just got to keep battling. He just has to keep battling, and we're not going to let him quit. He'll get it together."

Washington said some of Darvish's problems the past month have been command, but on Monday, "he just got hit."

"It's a long season. It's 162 games," Washington said. "He'll get the ball 10 or 11 more times. We'll just keep working, as I said, and see where it goes from there. But worried? No, I'm not worried. When adversity hits, you've got to step up. And we feel like he'll step up."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Pedro Figueroa
WINS ERA SO IP
2 4.50 2 8
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .302
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23