Counting on Yu.
1: Texas maintained a one-game lead over Oakland behind another dominating Yu Darvish effort, beating Houston, 2-1.
2: Darvish is the second pitcher in Rangers history to have multiple starts in one season of at least 8.0 innings pitched and no more than one hit allowed (Nolan Ryan had three in 1989).
3: Darvish is one of three pitchers in the live ball era (since 1920) to have four starts in a season of at least 14 strikeouts and no more than one walk (Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Randy Johnson in 1999 are the others).
4: Darvish’s 428 strikeouts are the fourth most by any pitcher in his first two big league seasons since 1900.
5: Darvish is the fifth pitcher in big league history with at least five games of 14 strikeouts or more in one season (Ryan, Martinez, Johnson, and Sam McDowell are the others).
6: Texas plays Houston six more times in 2013.
7: Oakland plays Houston seven more times in 2013, starting tonight.
8: The Rangers have won eight straight games — all on the road, a club record.
9: Darvish has punched out at least 10 hitters nine times in 2013, which leads the big leagues.
10: Texas finishes its 10-game trip to Oakland, Anaheim, and Houston with nine wins, making it the most successful road trip (by winning percentage) in club history.
12: Darvish victories in 2013. Also the number of Darvish’s 15 strikeouts yesterday that came on offspeed pitches.
13: The number of Texas wins . . .
14: . . . in the last 14 games.
15: Darvish strikeouts yesterday, setting a personal best (after four games of 14 punchouts).
16: The Rangers control Darvish through 2016. His contract extends through 2017, but he can void the final season if one of two things happens: (1) he wins the Cy Young in any season before that and finishes second, third, or fourth in the vote in another season; or (2) he finishes second in the Cy Young vote once and finishes second, third, or fourth in two other seasons.
17: Darvish leads the big leagues in 2012-13 with 17 starts of at least 10 strikeouts. Max Scherzer and Chris Sale are next with nine such starts.
18: It was on the game’s 18th Astros hitter that home plate umpire Ron Kulpa issued a walk and ejected Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski out of the game, an exquisite example of #umpshow that he’s likely very proud of.
19: Darvish has allowed 19 hits and 10 walks in 34.1 innings since returning from the disabled list on July 22. In that span he’s 4-1, 1.31, holding opponents to a .160/.231/.277 slash line and punching out 50 batters.
20: Kulpa has ejected 20 baseball people since 2005, which is as far back as this website goes.
21: Number of times between now and the end of 2016 that I’ll beg in writing for Texas and Darvish to tear his contract up and replace it with a new, longer, more awesome one.
22: The uniform number of Astros backup catcher Carlos Corporan, who’s not as bad a word pair as “Marwin Gonzalez” but man, that home run sucked. It’s also the uniform number of Matt Garza, who could be pitching for a JD Wash-do tomorrow if Alexi Ogando and his teammates beat the Brewers tonight.
51,703,411: Thank you, Bob & Ray & Neil & your whole bad-ass crew.
Ah ah ah.