Buzz: Yu Darvish pushed to his limit

CHICAGO -- In Sunday’s gem against the Boston Red Sox, Yu Darvish threw 127 pitches. In his final season in Japan, Darvish reached or passed the 130 pitch mark in seven of his 28 starts, going as high as 145 in one outing. Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was clear that while he’s fine with the occasional 130-pitch outing, he wasn’t going to push Darvish past that number.

“I was going to let him try to get that last out,” Washington said. “If his pitch count went to 130, it went to 130, as long as he got the out. But that was it; he wasn’t going back out there.

“Throughout the game, he was telling me he felt as strong as a bull, don’t pay attention to my pitch count. He’s never going to do the 140 here.”

The fact that Darvish doesn’t pitch again until Saturday, giving him an extra day of rest in between starts, was a factor in Washington’s decision to keep Darvish out there for so long. Washington also emphasized that as an ace, Darvish is going to be expected be able to handle that little extra nudge at times.

“I tell you what, John Farrell didn’t do nothing with that bullpen when (Jon) Lester was out there struggling when he piled up those pitches,” Washington said. “No, he was going to let him get out of there, because if he’d have went out there, Lester might of hit him with the ball. These studs, you gotta push them sometimes a little further.”

Darvish last made a start against the Red Sox on Aug. 6 of last season and got battered in 6 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on 11 hits and four walks. Washington said that was a factor in Darvish being pumped for Sunday’s game.

“I think he was in overdrive because that’s the type of guy he is,” Washington said. “It was Boston that kicked his (butt) one time and then they popped three runs (on Sunday) off him in a hurry. The mistakes he made to those guys, he never made again. (David) Ortiz could sit there all day looking for an inside fastball, he wasn’t getting it. And when he did get it, it was way in.”

A.J. feeling fine: After a four strikeout performance Sunday, A.J. Pierzynski was out of Monday’s lineup. According to Washington, it was just a day off for Pierzynski. Washington said he tried to give Pierzynski a break Sunday, but he didn’t want one. However, Pierzynski was "cool" with Monday’s breather.

“Striking out four times yesterday for A.J. is no big deal,” Washington said. “We had a mask in Minnesota we used to pass around. It had four Ks down the middle. Sometimes you get a game where you just don’t make contact.”

Pierzynski only started one game in last week’s three-game set against the Chicago White Sox because of a sore oblique, but started all three against the Red Sox over the weekend.

Perez starting for Frisco: Martin Perez will make his first rehab start of the season for Double-A Frisco on Monday night. Washington said there was no guarantee that Perez would be put in the rotation once he’s ready to return to the big leagues.

“His job is to go and get ready,” Washington said. “When he’s ready, we’ll make a decision.”

Perez has been out since March 3 when he fractured his wrist after being struck with a line drive. It was believed that Perez was the leader for the final spot in the rotation when he sustained the injury.

“It’s great that we’re getting our pitching back, it gives us depth,” Washington said. “But it’s gonna come down to what’s best for us and what’s best for the player at the time. Then a decision will be made.

“If we all feel that (Nick) Tepesch needs to be here or (Justin) Grimm needs to be here, those other guys are going to have to wait their turn. There’s only one guy that I see, when he’s ready to go, he’s going to be here, that’s Mr. Hipster, Colby (Lewis).”