There must be something in the air at Minute Maid Park, because Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish came close for the second time this season to accomplishing a major milestone for his career. Darvish was five outs away on Monday from throwing his first career no-hitter, and the sixth no-hitter in in Rangers history
This is not not the first time this season, where this almost happened. He went up against these same Houston Astros on April 2 and was one batter away from doing it. Since coming off the disabled list on July 22, he is locked in on the mound with a 1.33 ERA in five starts.
He finished the game with 15 strikeouts, which gave him 207 on the season in 23 starts. He tied Nolan Ryan’s club record for fewest starts needed to record 200 strikeouts in a season. Ryan only needed 23 starts in 1989 as well to set the mark, but he ended the season with 301 strikeouts in 32 starts, the most in Rangers history.
He is the best strikeout pitcher on the planet and he seems to get better with every start. He has a WHIP of 1.00 on the season and rarely has issues walking batters. Darvish has only walked more than three batters just four times this season, while walking a total of 51 batters on the season.
The one aspect that makes him unique is the great control he displays with all of his pitches. The fastball is his primary pitch to get batters out, but he utilizes his slider and curve ball as well. This makes it very hard for opposing batters to figure out what pitch he will use, with all them plus pitches.
Darvish is a very talented pitcher, and this won’t be the last time he has an opportunity to throw a no-hitter this season. He is one of the very few pitchers in baseball that has a chance to hold an opposing team hitless each time he starts a game.