After yesterday’s gem against the Los Angeles Angels, Yu Darvish has posted a 3.88 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 10.24 K/9 over 116.0 innings in his rookie season. They are fine numbers, but if you dig a little bit deeper there’s actually a surprising trend:
- vs. Seattle – 9.00 ERA, 2.13 WHIP, 7.68 K/9 and 7.88 BB/9 over 16.0 IP
- vs. Everyone Else – 3.06 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 10.62 K/9 and 4.23 BB/9 over 100.0 IP
Yes, the walks are still elevated against the rest of the league, but he’s a strikeout machine and has a realistic .296 BABIP. Against the Mariners he is unable to throw consistent strikes and, when he does, he’s getting beaten up to the tune of a .379 BABIP.
Darvish has allowed more than 4 ER in a start three times this season. Two of those have come against the Mariners (and the other came against the A’s). Keep in mind that, entering play on Sunday, the Mariners have:
- Second worst average in the league (.232)
- Are tied for the 23rd fewest runs scored (382)
- Are in the middle of the pack in walks (286)
- Have struck out the sixth most times (760)
Have we actually found the pitcher that we would recommend not starting against the Mariners? That’s definitely hard to fathom, though the numbers are eye opening. Obviously, it’s impossible for me to say “Don’t start Darvish against the Mariners”. I just don’t believe it.
What the split does tell us, however, is that despite the overall numbers possibly being a little unappealing, Darvish is absolutely a must start option. As long as he isn’t facing the Mariners, he has been one of the elite starters in the league.