Yu Darvish is human. Especially against Houston.
The last time Darvish allowed five earned runs was also a game against Houston more than two years ago. On August 9, 2014.
After that, though, he didn’t allow an earned run for another twenty-one months.
Because that was his last game before Tommy John surgery.
He had a bad game. He’s entitled to one of those.
In ninety-six career starts he has given up five or more earned runs eleven times—but six of those were in his first season. In fact, he gave up five earned runs in his first Major League game, against Seattle.
Since his first season, he’s given up five or more earned runs only five times in sixty-seven games. Four of those against Houston. The Rangers do to Houston what Houston does to Darvish.
Those things happen. Cole Hamels, in fact, gave up six earned runs his last start.
Darvish labored from the very beginning. He could never find his rhythm. It wasn’t just the lead-off home run but the next seven Astros hitters who took him deep into counts, worked him for two walks and three hits in a thirty-nine pitch first inning.
And then he labored through a three-hit, one-walk, twenty-one-pitch, three-run fourth inning that did him in.
It seems Yu Darvish’s labor day simply came a day early.