I'm sure after last night's start, Yu Darvish, were he to have his way, would go through the clubhouse and kick every hitter in the lineup right in the shin. It's gotten that bad.
Nevermind the fact that the offense has been struggling to put much of anything on board to begin with, but the trend of failing to put runs on the board in games that Darvish starts continued last night as the Rangers were shut out at home against Pittsburgh by a score of 1-0.
Good teams don't waste starts by their best pitcher. It's the biggest difference between Felix Hernandez (12-9 record) and Max Scherzer (19-3 record). The Tigers are a team that scores for their best pitcher this season, and the Seattle Mariners are, well, the Seattle Mariners. And in that, you see the only way pitching W-L records matter at all. They're almost always a reflection of how well a team plays when a specific pitcher starts. Yu Darvish is now 12-8, and for a club that fancies itself a contender, it's an unacceptable reality that it has massively failed its best pitcher.
If we sit here and imagine that record being something closer to 16-4 or even 15-5, suddenly we're talking about a team that, despite the offensive struggles of the past week and change, still finds itself at the top of the AL West.
What doesn't help is that Adrian Beltre is in freefall mode right now. He'll get hot again at some point, but for now, he's been ineffective as of late. Ian Kinsler hasn't been any better. He has 7 hits in the month of September. Even worse, he's failed to draw even a walk since August 24 against the White Sox. Two guys that have been expected to contribute have been perhaps the coldest on the team, and that needs to change for this club to turn things around.
There's an argument to be made that both could use a day off. Kinsler has yet to have a day off since returning from the DL on June 15. Beltre has been similarly used, as he's played in 141 of 143 games, missing only two games at the beginning of June due to a nagging hamstring that has hampered his running ability (and at times, his defense) for much of the season.
Maybe Kinsler and Beltre are gassed and could use a day off. Beyond that, the two of them just need to get on a streak.
Or maybe I'm wrong, and this whole thing is doomed anyways. But I don't think I'm wrong. I don't think.