Eric Nadel Says Yu Darvish Lacks ‘Killer Instinct’

Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel was critical of team starting pitcher Yu Darvish over the weekend after Darvish gave up only two runs in seven innings to the Chicago White Sox but the team ultimately lost, 3-2, because the Rangers only managed to score two runs themselves. He reportedly called Darvish the “supposed” ace of the team. His words prompted an ongoing discussion between him and his own Twitter followers:

Nadel is arguing that Darvish just doesn’t known how to nail down close games, to find a way to get a win for his team even when the Rangers’ offense is sputtering.

When confronted with numbers that indicate his perception of Darvish’s performance is not entirely accurate, he responds:

So it boils down to the “my gut feelings based on a couple of especially disappointing losses outweigh all your fancy objective evidence, Poindexter” argument.

Lone Star Ball rolls through all the relevant data. Summary (“high leverage” means close scores):

Yu Darvish is a great pitcher having a great year and I believe one of the best pitchers in the game. His late game and high leverage results haven’t been as good as his low leverage this year, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying that it’s because he’s lacking something considering it was a strength last year and we don’t have a lot of data to draw a meaningful conclusion.


  • jff

    Hate it when sports people I like say crap like this.

  • A Guy

    Nadel is dead on. I see Darvish regularly lose his poise or focus at key moments – I’m glad someone as knowledgeable and respected as Nadel sees this too. Walking or giving up HRs to weak hitters at key times seems to be the biggest issue. Darvish is really good, but he’s a 1 and a half right now. Better than a #2, but not a true #1. Yet.

  • SamMerten

    I love Nadel, but his criticism of Darvish is unwarranted. Darvish is widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball already at just 27 years old, and he has played less than two years in MLB. Rangers fans have been dying for an ace to call our own since Fergie Jenkins (Cliff Lee, a rental, doesn’t count), and Nadel decides to publicly kick him in the crotch? I don’t get it. At all.

  • chk

    Eric Nadel is an idiot. Period.

    He doesn’t have killer instinct!??!?! This isn’t the NL, he can’t get out there and score the runs Eric!