4/8/2013 1:23 A.M. ET
Imperfect fallout: Yu exits with blister
By Dave Sessions / Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish's pursuit of perfection in his first start of 2013 may have come back to haunt him in his second outing.
In collecting his second win of the season on Sunday night against the Angels, the Rangers right-hander aggravated a blister he developed while throwing 111 pitches over 8 2/3 innings on Tuesday, when he came within one out of a perfect game in Houston.
Though the wound on his right ring finger was said to be minor, it was apparently major enough to cause Darvish to leave Sunday's 7-3 victory early.
Darvish said the issue worsened during the game, but he did not consider it to be a serious problem.
"I don't think it's going to affect my start next time," Darvish said. I just have to prepare my best as much as possible. … It wasn't really a blister. It was part of my skin that came off. So there's not much special treatment. I just have to be careful when I pitch."
Darvish's five innings were anything but perfect this time. Only 50 of his 85 pitches were strikes. He often struggled with his command, walking four.
"I had trouble with my control," Darvish said, noting that he threw more two-seamers and split-fingers. "I had to make the best of the situation to select the pitches I could throw and get outs with."
But when he had control, he had his usual strikeout-inducing stuff, fanning six.
Darvish's extended work in his season debut may have contributed to his being pulled, but manager Ron Washington said the blister was the key factor.
"I didn't notice it until after the fifth," Washington said. "I went down there after the fifth to check on him and see how he was feeling. I said, 'Let me see your hand.' I saw it had started peeling, so we just shut it down right there."
From the first pitch he threw, it was apparent that Darvish didn't have excellent command. He walked Mike Trout, then hit Erick Aybar, then walked Albert Pujols on four pitches. He had more trouble in the second, allowing a leadoff single to Alberto Callaspo and walking Peter Bourjos.
But Darvish recovered to strike out Trout and Aybar to end the inning. He got out of another jam in the third when he walked Pujols and gave up a double to Josh Hamilton. Darvish got back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout to end the threat.
Darvish pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning but got into trouble again in the fifth, allowing a Hamilton single and a Trumbo RBI double.
"I didn't have everything today," Darvish said. "I wasn't 100 percent. But I had to grind it out. The reason I was able to do that was because of all the support I got from my teammates."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.