The first of the last thirty starts of the Yu Darvish era elicited the one word common to so many of his past starts as a Ranger.
He had a 5-1 lead and couldn’t hold it. This is not the way Darvish, or the Rangers, wants to start his walk year.
Walk year might be the appropriate name for it, too. He walked a batter in each of the first three innings, five total, and threw two wild pitches.
And that is how you squander a four-run lead against the best team in the American League.
He was able to escape his wildness until the third, and then only some bad Indians base running prevented it from being worse.
He entered the fourth up 5-1 but gave up two. In the fifth, he was at it again, walking two after a leadoff error to load the bases. Fortunately he was able to wiggle out of that with a 1-2-3 double play, then a sharp ground out to first.
He wasn’t so fortunate in the seventh. A wild pitch after a one-out double put a runner at third. He trotted home on a wild pitch strike three, and suddenly the four-run lead was cut to one. With Ranger-killer Edwin Encarnacion looming. If you have seen how the last two Rangers playoffs have ended, you know how this lead ends.
Matt Bush gave up the lead. Sam Dyson gave up game. And the Rangers squandered a two-home-run game from Rougned Odor, and a monster shot to left field off Carlos Gomez’s bat.
The bullpen got the blown save and the loss. But Davish deserves all the credit for this opening day squandering.
Carlos Carrasco (18-9, 3.14) vs. Martin Perez (7-5, 3.41)
Game time: 7:05