A’s: Is Yu Darvish coming to terms with Oakland troubles?

A's first baseman Brandon Moss has four career homers off Rangers' Yu Darvish.

A’s first baseman Brandon Moss has four career homers off Rangers’ Yu Darvish.

If you are planning to watch the A’s take on Yu Darvish and the Rangers tonight in the Coliseum or on the tube, Darvish would like to plant a seed in your mind.

It’s this – he knows the A’s have his number.

Darvish is 1-7 with a 4.73 ERA against the A’s. Against everybody else he’s 35-13 with a 2.93 ERA.

And he’s come to terms with it, after a fashion.

“Greg Maddux told me last year that he didn’t have any good numbers against Arizona through his career,’’ Darvish said in looking toward his third start of the season against Oakland. “Just the fact to know that a great pitcher like him had a team that didn’t have any good numbers against, that alleviated my thoughts.’’’

   Maddux wasn’t putting Darvish on. A career 355-227, the Hall of Fame right-hander was just 3-11 with a 5.37 ERA when facing the Diamondbacks.

It happens. It happens to good pitcher all the time. Nolan Ryan was 324-292 with a 3.19 ERA en route to the Hall of Fame, but put him against the Baltimore Orioles and he was amazingly ordinary – 10-17 with a 4.21 ERA.

Catfish Hunter was a great pitcher with great teams in Oakland and New York playing behind him as he went to the Hall of Fame with a 224-166 record and 3.26 ERA. But put the woeful expansion Seattle Mariners against him and he couldn’t quite get it done. He faced them five times when just showing up against Seattle was good enough or a win and went 1-4 with a 4.64 ERA.

Darvish has not always pitched badly against the A’s. He beat them in his first career against Oakland in Arlington, Texas. Three of the seven losses have come because the Rangers were shut out, two of those by 1-0 scores.

And yet the A’s have hit him hard, too, which is reflected in the fact that his ERA against Oakland is more than 1.50 higher than his overall career ERA.

You would think a pitcher of his admitted quality would break through. It’s just that he hasn’t yet.

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.