Should Yu Darvish Now Be Considered Rangers' Ace After Near-Miss Perfect Game?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIApril 2, 2013

Apr 2, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) pitches against the Houston Astros in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

After 8.2 innings, 14 strikeouts and no hits, Yu Darvish lost his perfect-game bid on a single up the middle by Marwin Gonzalez.

However, after his performance, it's safe to say Darvish is the ace of the Texas Rangers.

Ever since he came from Japan, Darvish has been nothing but impressive. Tuesday's performance showed he is now officially the ace of the Rangers.

For those who are still not sure, let me educate you.


2012 Season

Darvish went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 221 strikeouts in his first year in MLB.

He gave up three earned runs or less in 22 of his 27 starts and had at least seven strikeouts in 20 starts.

Darvish also pitched 191.1 innings, only going less than six innings six times.

He eats innings and does it with power.


Matt Harrison

Harrison is the only other pitcher who could be considered the ace of the Rangers' staff. He went 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 2012.

While the record and the ERA were good, the strikeout numbers are not exactly ace-worthy.

Name me one contending team's ace who has less than 140 strikeouts?

Okay, I can name a few, but when I think of an ace, I think of a guy with high strikeouts.

The Baltimore Orioles don't have a true No. 1 pitcher, and Tim Hudson takes more of the Greg Maddux-like approach for the Atlanta Braves.

When you think of an ace, strikeouts come with the territory.

Just look at the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants.

All of those teams have true aces who can strike batters out.


Proof Is in the Pudding

When Darvish was in Japan, he had a career record of 93-38 with 1,250 strikeouts.

His first two seasons saw him have ERAs of 3.53 and 2.89, respectively. Since then he had ERAs of 1.82, 1.88, 1.73, 1.78 and 1.44.

Simply put, he's been performing well his entire career.

He may not have been the Opening Day pitcher, but it's time to call Darvish the ace of the Rangers.

He's proven he deserves the title multiple times, and it's time to put all arguments against it to rest.


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