A’s magic touch against Darvish slips away this time around

Yu Darvish came out of Monday’s game with his losing streak against Oakland intact at six games.

One suspects he can live with that. The A’s have given Darvish more trouble than any team in baseball in his three seasons in the big league since making the jump from Japan, and Monday had a chance to be one of those games.

It wasn’t, which was surprising after the A’s scored three times against him in the second inning.

But Darvish put his game back together after putting the first two men on in the third, stranding them at second and third. An inning later he loaded the bases with two out, but he got Josh Donaldson to strike out.

    Darvish, whose breaking pitches are the envy of most every hurdler in the game, caught the A’s a little off guard. He threw fastballs, enough fastballs when the A’s weren’t expecting them that he was able to limit the damage done to him in the course of six innings and 116 pitches.

Donaldson said after the game it was a good time to remember that the A’s beat Darvish 1-0 a couple of times and that his 1-6 record, while not stellar, is hardly infamous. His ERA against Oakland, 4.30 coming in, is middle of the pack.

“He’s got a great arm; he’s pretty good,’’ Donaldson said.

The A’s forced him to throw 91 pitches through four innings, which would have forced many pitchers out of the game. Darvish being Darvish, he hung around for two more innings, which were mostly clean, which meant Rangers’ manager Ron Washington didn’t have to fill the middle of the game with middle-of-the-road relievers.

As things stand now, the A’s will miss Darvish when they travel to Arlington to face Texas next week. The next time they see him, the A’s will have to remember how this one got away.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.