- Last Updated: 8:35 AM, April 25, 2012
- Posted: 1:27 AM, April 25, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas — If Yu Darvish pitches better than he did last night, Phil Humber isn’t going to be the only pitcher to throw a perfect game this season.
Working with a very deep and filthy arsenal and the ability to keep pitches out of the middle of the plate, Darvish dominated the Yankees on the way to a 2-0 Rangers victory in front of 47,085 at Rangers Ballpark, where Japanese pitchers started for each team for the seventh time in MLB history.
“You hear a lot about the hype, but he was everything you heard of. He pitched real well,’’ Mark Teixeira said of the 25-year-old right-hander who cost the Rangers $107.1 million but looked well worth the money.
At times Darvish toyed with the Yankees hitters, who were kept off balance with a cut fastball that painted both sides the plate, a curveball that came close to the corners but never quite got there and a fastball that was still pushing the speed gun to 96-mph in the eighth.
“I saw four different pitches,’’ said Teixeira, who went 0-for-4 and took a 0-2 split for a strikeout in the fourth inning with one out and Robinson Cano on second. “A two-seam [fastball], a cutter, a curveball and a change/split.’’
Derek Jeter’s sizzling April continued with a bunt single in the third that loaded the bases without an out and a two-out double in the sixth, when he jumped on an inside curveball.
“He mixes it up and throws all his pitches at any time,’’ said Jeter, who was one of Darvish’s 10 strikeout victims. “He did a little bit of everything.’’
Lost in Darvish’s 8 1/3 -inning gem in which he allowed seven hits and limited the Yankees to one hit in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position, was Hiroki Kuroda’s solid outing.
Making his fourth start and coming off a poor outing last week against the Twins, Kuroda pitched well, holding the powerful Rangers to a pair of runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“The toughest thing for us is that we wasted a really good start,’’ Teixeira said of Kuroda who is 1-3.
The loss stopped a four-game winning streak for the 10-7 Yankees. The 14-4 Rangers have won nine of 11.
Ian Kinsler hit Kuroda’s third pitch 439 feet for a homer in the first inning and Josh Hamilton delivered the second run with a two-out single in the third.
The Yankees had two strong scoring chances that Darvish (3-0, 2.42 ERA) choked.
A single by Eric Chavez, a walk to Russell Martin and Jeter’s bunt single loaded the bases without an out in the third. But Curtis Granderson looked at a 2-2 breaking ball on the black for the first out, and Darvish induced Alex Rodriguez to hit a grounder to Adrian Beltre that started a 5-3 double play.
Cano opened the fourth with a double to left-center but never moved off second base because Darvish fanned Teixeira and Nick Swisher and got Raul Ibanez on a grounder to the right side.
When Ron Washington lifted Darvish following Swisher’s one-out single in the ninth and called for Joe Nathan, the Yankees had a chance. But one pitch was all Nathan needed to get Ibanez to bang into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
“I wanted a ball up and I got it up and tried to hit it in the air. Usually they don’t go on the ground and that one did,’’ Ibanez said.
Usually, the hype doesn’t match the talent, especially when it’s attached to a pitcher making his fourth big league start.
Yet, Darvish not only matched the hype, he put the American League on notice that he has no-hit stuff.Follow @NYPostsports