The Rangers beat the Pirates 5-2 at the Ballpark last night. There was a whole lot to like about this game. And a whole lot to forget about.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first, becoming just the fifty-fourth player in major league history to rack up 1500 runs batted in. He now has 1501 and is just eight behind Mickey Mantle. Anytime you are eight behind Mantle on anything, you are in rare air.
His 1501 runs driven in puts him fourth all-time for RBIs for a third baseman. Behind only Mike Schmidt (1595), George Brett (1596), and Chipper Jones (1623).
Prince Fielder drove in a run in the first as well. It was career RBI 1009 for him, passing his dad Cecil.
Jurickson Profar picked up two hits, including his first ever major league triple, and looks like a major leaguer.
Jered Hoying picked up his first major league base hit.
And both Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland got extra base hits in the same game for only the fourth time this season.
But who will remember all that?
Yu Darvish returned to the mound after nearly twenty-one months. And he was masterful. That was the story of last night’s game.
On an expected pitch count of 85 to 90 pitches, Darvish delivered 81 through five innings and left with something he is not accustomed to. A lead.
His fastball hit 98. His knee buckling curve hit 62, although he didn’t have the command of it he liked.
But he struck out seven, walked just one, allowed just three hits, and only one run.
Darvish is back.
The Rangers just got significantly better.
Francisco Liriano (4-3, 4.30) vs Martin Perez (2-4, 3.13)
Game time: 2:05