Ron Washington said today he's not ready to tell the world who his Opening Day starting pitcher is going to be, although it sounds like his mind is already made up, and he says it is a "no-brainer."
I agree its a no-brainer -- Yu Darvish is the team's best pitcher, the guy the paid millions for believing he was a legit ace, and thus should get the start.
The argument basically boils down to, Harrison was better last season, and thus should be rewarded by starting Opening Day.
I don't know that Harrison was really better than Darvish last year, but there's no doubt in my mind that Darvish is a better pitcher than Harrison. Harrison, if he pitches like he has the last couple of years, can be a solid #2 or #3 starter on a championship team. Darvish has the ability to be a legit #1 for a championship team.
This also prompted me to go back and look at Darvish's performance down the stretch last season. After a bad stretch where Darvish allowed 6 or 7 runs in four of five starts, Darvish dominated the rest of the way. Darvish finished out the regular season with a 2.35 ERA in 57.1 innings, striking out 67, walking 15, allowing just 2 homers and hitting just 1 batter. He allowed a 501 OPS during that stretch. And then, in the Wild Card game, he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) in 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and striking out 7.
One of the runs Darvish allowed got on base when Michael Young booted the first ball of the game. The third run he allowed came in when Derek Holland threw a wild pitch and allowed a hit, leading to an inherited run scoring, when Darvish was inexplicably lifted for Holland despite throwing just 91 pitches.
So, as you already know if you follow me on Twitter, I'm all mad about that Wild Card Game again. About how Josh Hamilton saw 8 pitches while going 0-4, and hit into a first pitch GIDP against lefty Joe Saunders when Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus had both gotten on base after six-pitch at bats.
But regardless, Yu is awesome, and should start Opening Day. But here's a poll, in case you disagree.