Darvish gave up four runs on four hits with three walks in a long, 42-pitch first inning. But after giving up a run on two doubles in the second, he settled down and retired 10 straight batters at one point.
"He didn't have a feel for anything the first inning or two and kept battling away," Ryan said. "He hung in there and he looked like a totally different pitcher at the end than he did at the start. It was a matter of him settling down and getting back into a rhythm. It was important that he did what he did -- the fact that he battled through it and Ron [Washington] gave him the opportunity to stay out there and work through it. It was a very positive night."
Ryan said he wasn't surprised Darvish had nerves in his first start and said he looked "hyped up for the game." Ryan said he had butterflies when he started for the first time.
"Everybody has them," Ryan said. "If you're competitive, you'll have nerves. I'm sure that sitting around the last three days here has been hard, and it's probably seemed forever for him before he got out there."
Ryan watched Darvish from his customary spot by the camera well on the first-base side in the owners' box. And he wasn't sure how long Darvish would be on the mound after the rocky start.
"I didn't give him that much of a chance because of the pure number of pitches he threw in the first inning and the fact that he didn't have a feel for anything," Ryan said. "He never had the feel and I think he was out of sync. To me his best pitch is his slider, and it wasn't effective. He didn't throw very many. He struggled with his command so early in the game."
Ryan said he was pleased Darvish was able to get things figured out in time to leave the game with the lead.
"I think it's a reflection on his experience is what we saw," Ryan said. "If it had been one of our young kids that hadn't been in that situation before, I think it probably would have been a lot harder. I look at it as a very positive outing."