“He’s capable of throwing breaking pitches hard or soft for strikes. He had no clue about what his fastball was doing,” Ortiz said. “He can throw his offspeed pitches for a strike a lot. He’s got good command of a slider, two different breaking balls.”
Darvish threw 127 pitches, his most since joining the Rangers from Japan last season. He leads the majors with 72 strikeouts and already has had two games with 14.
The last American League pitchers with multiple games of 14 or more strikeouts in a season were Pedro Martinez (three times) and Mike Mussina (twice) in 2000.
The clubhouse was quiet as the Sox readied to leave. The swagger that marked the first few weeks of the season was bruised.
“We’ll be fine. We’ve got a bunch of guys in this clubhouse, this isn’t their first go-around,” Lester said. “Guys have been through the winning streaks, the losing streaks, and everywhere in between. I wouldn’t imagine it’s going to be a big thing for us.”