As walks mount, Darvish tries to clear his mind

As walks mount, Darvish tries to clear his mind

ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish pitched well enough in the first half of the season to earn All-Star honors in his rookie season. Since then, he has struggled.

Five of the first season-high six Angels he walked Wednesday scored, including four in the six-run third inning. Since going 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA before the All-Star break, Darvish has gone 1-2 with a 7.66 ERA in his last four starts, walking 17 batters in 24 2/3 innings. After the thrilling, 11-10 victory, Darvish admitted the fact that issuing that many walks recently has gotten to his head.

"I'll try to maybe have that walk issue cleared out of my mind and not even think about it," Darvish said. "I'm just going to turn over a new leaf next outing and just clear my mind. I think I'm going to have to think differently from here on out and become a new pitcher, become a better pitcher."

Darvish's 145 strikeouts ranked fourth in the American League entering Wednesday, but Ubaldo Jimenez is the AL's only pitcher that has walked more than the 70 Darvish has walked. The last time Darvish issued fewer than three walks in a game was in a June 26 win over the Tigers.

"He has to make an adjustment off the style that he's been throwing with," manager Ron Washington said. "Then, he can get back to his style once he gets consistency throwing the ball in the strike zone. That's his style of pitching. I think what he's trying to do is not change who he is, but you have to make adjustments."