HOUSTON -- Yu Darvish will stay with his normal routine after flirting with a perfect game and start Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, manager Ron Washington said before Wednesday's series finale against the Houston Astros.
Darvish exceeded his targeted pitch count for his first start of the season, throwing 111 pitches. With the perfect game intact, Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux exceeded a pitch count that was around 95 to 100 pitches.
"That would have been a number, yeah," Maddux said.
But the plan remains for Darvish to start on normal rest against Jared Weaver and the Angels.
"We'll stick with the rotation," Washington said.
Darvish threw a low-stress 111 pitches, Maddux said, even though having a perfect game up until two outs in the ninth inning created some tension. Darvish pitched on adrenaline in the eighth and ninth innings, Maddux said, drawing energy from the crowd at Minute Maid Park.
"He was out of gas after seven," Maddux said. "He admitted it."
Darvish didn't throw more than 18 pitches in any one inning. Still, a pitcher's health and his pitch count are always a concern, especially at the beginning of the season. Darvish's highest pitch total in the spring was 78 against the Reds.
"It's always in the back of your mind," Maddux said of the impact of increasing pitch count.
Washington said again Wednesday that he was set on pulling Darvish out of the game if the Astros' 27th batter, Marwin Gonzalez, got a single or walked. When asked if Darvish could have talked Washington out of puling him if he had walked Gonzalez and still had a no-hitter going, the manager said there was no chance.
"No, because I don't understand Japanese," Washington said. "Once I come out of the dugout, that's it. Only two (pitchers) who I came out to get talked me into going back to the dugout."
"Once I go out there, that's it," Washington said.