Went spent 627 days between Yu Darvish starts and watching him pitch made me realize just how empty those 627 days were without him. Yu Darvish is a spectacle. He is a must watch event. It's not just that Yu Darvish is good. It's that Yu Darvish is so good while being good. It's the wiggle on his pitches. It's the 98 MPH one pitch after 65 MPH. It's the stuff. I feel like I don't even know what baseball was before Yu Darvish and I was seeing baseball again for the first time watching Yu Darvish again.
In addition to Yu Darvish coming back and tossing dominance at the Pirates to pick up his first win since July 28, 2014, we saw Adrian Beltre do it at the plate with a long at-bat that ended with a two-run dong in the bottom of the first (Adrian Beltre doing it in the field is a given). We saw Jurickson Profar collect two hits -- including his first big league triple -- as he joined Yu Darvish on the field in a moment we know now can not be taken for granted.
We saw Jared Hoying collect his first big league hit. No one will remember this as the Jared Hoying game, though. Jared Hoying is like a living second fiddle. Sorry, Jared Hoying. Mitch Moreland hit a home run. Prince Fielder smashed a double off the top of the center field wall. Ian Desmond went 2-4 with a stolen base and continues to be an unreal bargain.
The bullpen quartet of Tony Barnette, Jake Diekman, Matt Bush, and Sam Dyson went four innings with only Dyson allowing a run as they secured Darvish a win.
There may not be a more perfect baseball game for the 2016 Texas Rangers fan. But then again, we get to see Yu Darvish every five days.
Player of the Game: Yu Darvish was Yu Darvish even with a limited pitch count and an umpire who was a tad on the stingy side. Yu went five innings and allowed just one run on three hits and one walk. Darvish struck out seven and everything moved. He's good. He's back. He's Yu Darvish.
Up Next: The Rangers and Pirates close out this three-game set in the rubber match where Texas will go for their eighth straight series win at home. Martin Perez makes the start for Texas against LHP Francisco Liriano of Pittsburgh. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT.