Scouting Monday's Pirates-Rangers game
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 9:55 p.m.
Pirates beat reporter Rob Biertempfel 's inside look at Monday's game:
• The Rangers have lost each of Yu Darvish's past four starts. In that stretch, the righty has a 4.50 ERA and has issued 15 walks in 26 innings. Perhaps the long season is catching up to him. In his previous start Wednesday, Darvish's four-seamer had an average velocity of 91.87 mph — almost 3 mph slower than it was in April. The velocity also is down for his sinker (93.05 mph in April to 91.33 mph last week) and slider (92.80 mph in April, 80.06 mph last week).
• Third baseman Adrian Beltre has emerged as an MVP candidate. Through Saturday, the 16-year veteran had a .319 batting average and led the Rangers with an .896 OPS, 84 RBI and 28 HR. “He's one of those guys who can carry a team on his back,” pitcher Jered Weaver told rangers.com.
The visiting clubhouse at Busch Stadium offers barber services, so outfielder Jose Tabata got a new look — sort of a mowhawk fade cut — before Saturday's game. “Just something different,” Tabata said. When asked if he was going to keep the style for a while, Tabata shook his head. “I like it,” he said.
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