Darvish works on throwing strikes in 'pen session

Darvish works on throwing strikes in 'pen session

Darvish works on throwing strikes in 'pen session
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yu Darvish threw the first of two bullpen sessions on Sunday. He will have a second one either Tuesday or Wednesday in preparation for his next start on Friday against the Astros.

The Rangers pushed Darvish back three days in the rotation to give him extra rest. It also gives him an extra session in the bullpen to work on some things. Pitching coach Mike Maddux said the goal on Sunday was to work on throwing strikes.

"It's that simple," Maddux said. "His good games ... he doesn't give up many hits. His batting average against is really good. We just can't let one hit give up three runs. He has such good swing-and-miss stuff, we just have to get him in counts where they have to swing."

Darvish, who threw 27 pitches in his bullpen, has allowed 8.17 hits per nine innings, the 15th-best ratio in the American League. But his 5.45 walks per nine innings is the third highest.

He also averages 9.54 strikeouts per nine innings, third highest in the league. But his 1.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 40th among 51 qualifying pitchers. Colby Lewis ranks No. 1 with 6.7 strikeouts per walk.