Saturday, June 16, 2012
Numbers: How Yu Darvish beat the Astros
By Richard Durrett
ESPN Stats & Information (thanks Lee Singer) looked at how Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish beat the Houston Astros:
* Got ahead: Darvish started 21 of 31 hitters (68 percent) with a first-pitch strike, his highest percentage since April 30.
* Getting strike one has been key for Darvish all season. Although his 88 strikeouts are tied for ninth in the majors, no pitcher has more strikeouts after getting ahead 0-1 than Darvish (66). Seven of his 11 strikeouts Friday came after he started the hitter with a first-pitch strike.
* After getting ahead Friday, Darvish stayed out of hitters' counts. He went to just two 2-0 counts and one 3-1 count, both his fewest in a start this season. Overall, he threw a season-best 69 percent strikes.
* Thirteen of the 18 balls (72 percent) in play against Darvish were ground balls, his highest percentage this season. He recorded 10 ground-ball outs, including a season-high two double plays.
Additional note from Elias Sports Bureau: Darvish has won all six of his home starts this season. Darvish is the fourth pitcher over the last 50 years to win each of his first six career home starts. Dave Wickersham did it for the Royals in 1962-63, Mark Fidrych for the Tigers in 1976, Carlos Perez for the Expos in 1995 (won his first eight home starts) and Kason Gabbard for Boston and Texas in 2006-07.