Darvish needs to get out left-handed hitters

Darvish needs to get out left-handed hitters

Darvish needs to get out left-handed hitters
BOSTON -- Yu Darvish makes his third start for the Rangers on Thursday, when he faces the Tigers at Comerica Park. Darvish has given up 17 hits in his first two starts, and left-handed hitters have been tough on him.

They are 14-for-38 (.368) with four doubles off Darvish. Right-handers have just three singles in 12 at-bats. The Tigers aren't stacked with left-handers, but they do have Prince Fielder, Alex Avila, Don Kelly and Brennan Boesch in their lineup swinging from the left side.

"It's not just left-handed hitters," Darvish said. "I have to make quality pitches and stay strong and get in better condition."

Manager Ron Washington said the two best pitches for a pitcher to use against left-handed hitters are a cut fastball inside and a sinker that rides away from them. Those are the two pitches -- when working -- that make Scott Feldman effective against left-handers. In a reverse manner, they are left-handed starter Matt Harrison's best pitches against right-handed hitters.

"He's got those pitches, it's just a matter of learning how to use them," Washington said.

Darvish is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts.

"I think you'll be pleasantly surprised tomorrow," Washington said. "Each time he has had the ball, he's gotten better. If he shows the same progress, I expect he'll throw a really good game. He'll have his hands full with that Detroit lineup, but they'll have their hands full, too. It doesn't work one way."