Darvish: OD start a 'really tough outing'

Darvish: OD start a 'really tough outing'

ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish's two best pitches are his fastball and his slider. Neither worked on Opening Day against the Indians.

That's what manager Jeff Banister determined watching the video of Darvish's outing after the Rangers' 8-5 loss to the Indians.

"Watching the video, the feel for the slider wasn't what he wanted it to be," Banister said. "The swing and miss wasn't there. The fastball -- he struggled to find the range. When he did go for the kill on the fastball, he was out of the zone. When he tried to dial it back, he pulled some of them. Not enough pitches in the zone.

"Cleveland is an accomplished set of hitters. They could tell the fastball wasn't where he wanted it to be, and the slider? He didn't have the feel for it."

Darvish allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up just four hits, but he walked five and fell behind in the count on nine of 27 hitters. He also struck out just four, matching his second-lowest total in 101 career Major League starts.

Darvish escapes a jam

"It's not up to what Yu would call his standards, but he still competed," Banister said. "It's not like they were powering the ball all over the ballpark. The hard contact, there wasn't a ton of it."

Statcast™ had the most telling number on the night. Darvish threw 30 sliders, and got only one swing and miss.

"I struggled throwing the strikes, but at the same time, I got some early outs early in counts, so that was a positive," Darvish said. "I managed to go into the seventh, so that's something I was able to take as a positive. It's a tough opponent, facing against those guys. They went to the World Series last year. Individually, those guys are really good. It was a really tough outing."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.