Will Yu Darvish be smiling again tonight? (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Yu Darvish returns to the scene of the crime


Everyone one remembers what happened the last time the Astros faced Yu Darvish. Well.. everyone except Darvish himself. The Rangers ace is doing his best to deflect the media attention surrounding his return to the scene of the crime, Minute Maid Park. With Erik Bedard making the start for Houston, this one looks like a lopsided matchup — on paper.

But things don’t always turn out like we think they will and that’s why they play the games. So, while Dallas bloggers make jokes about our Astros we’re just happy to get a chance to watch the game on TV and hope for the best.

Darvish is now 2-0 with 25 Ks in two career starts against the Astros and the odds are against us. But maybe, just maybe, they can make a game of it. Stranger things have happened.

Darvish, in only his second year in the majors, has become one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball — and not just against the Astros. Coming into tonight’s game Darvish is 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA. He leads the league with 72 strikeouts(14.19 per 9 IP) and ranks second in the A.L. in batting average (.169) and OPS (.522) against. Darvish, who has more pitches in his arsenal than a persistent telemarketer, is also third in the American League with a 0.92 WHIP. The leader in most of those categories is another Asian pitcher, Hisashi Iwakuma. That leads us to another interesting question. Are we undervaluing Asian pitchers?

Even though Astros starter Erik Bedard has yet to give the Astros more than four innings in any of his starts this season the Win Probability Chart for tonight’s game will still start at even. We’ll see how long it takes that graph to swing one direction or another. Surprisingly, it took almost three innings for the Rangers to sway the graph in Darvish’s last outing in Houston.

 

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