Rangers' Darvish hopes to bounce back against Mets (Jun 07, 2017)

BY AP • June 7, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish, the most consistent pitcher for the Texas Rangers this season, is coming off a start that left him frustrated.

Darvish hopes to find some answers Wednesday in the interleague series finale against the New York Mets at Globe Life Park. Texas (27-31) won the Tuesday opener 10-8.

Darvish gave up three runs, all on a three-run homer, on Friday against the Houston Astros. The right-hander lasted only five innings, mainly because he racked up 104 pitches, and took the loss as the Rangers fell 7-1.

"It was one pitch and I gave up a home run, but at the same time, they had the plan going into that game going against me and they executed that plan," Darvish said through his interpreter. "I feel like they wanted to make me throw more pitches and take me out of the game early. And they executed and that's why I didn't like the results."

Darvish had a long conservation with pitching coach Doug Brocail after that start, which dropped his record to 5-4 with a 3.13 ERA. Darvish didn't divulge the details of that talk, but he said he feels confident going into this second career start against the Mets. The other came in 2014, when he gave up four runs in five innings.

"I feel an advantage if they haven't seen me before," he said. "If I can throw a lot of strikes, I think it's going to be a big advantage for me."

Keeping the Rangers on track is Darvish's primary motivation.

"It's going to be crucial," Darvish said. "Every game from now on is going to be very important."

The Mets (24-32) are countering with Zack Wheeler, who is 3-3 with a 3.72 ERA. The right-hander took the loss in the Mets' 2-1 defeat on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He threw 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on a season-high 10 hits.

Over his past six starts, Wheeler has a 2.65 ERA. He is 13-6 with a 2.89 ERA in 33 career starts on the road.

Wheeler won his lone career start against Texas, tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in 2014.

Although his team will face Darvish in the series finale, Mets manager Terry Collins was also looking to a brutal stretch that would tax any pitching staff.

New York will play 18 games in 17 days after being off Thursday, which brings up the possibility of Collins going to a six-man rotation, especially with the imminent returns of Steven Matz and Seth Lugo from the disabled list. Both are out due to elbow injuries,

"We have talked about all of it," Collins said Tuesday. "We haven't etched in stone anything because we really don't know, until we see Steven and Seth pitch, where we're at."

Matz and Lugo give Collins the luxury of getting an extra day off for his starters, which the manager said would be a benefit all the way around.

"We're starting to look like we're getting in shape," Collins said. "This is what we planned on, certainly from the beginning when we reported in February, to have those guys on this staff. Hopefully they're ready and raring to go, which I know they are. I talked to them both today. It's just now about going out there and getting their feet on the ground."

Matz is set to start Saturday at Atlanta, with Lugo toeing the rubber Sunday.

Should the Mets elect for a six-man rotation, Collins doesn't plan on using it beyond the upcoming stretch.



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