Until Brett Gardner's seventh-inning single off Darvish, that headline was actually not hyperbole; it was fact. He had four career hits in 10 at-bats against Darvish, all home runs.
The Rangers beat the Yankees 4-2 tonight, but Gardner bizarrely owned Darvish with home runs in the third and fifth innings. His first of the four came in 2013 and the second was just last week, in the rain-shortened Tarp Game.
Gardner, known primarily for his speed, has some pop, but "pop" and "power" are two very different things. To put it in context, heading into tonight's game Gardner had 33 career home runs in parts of seven Major League seasons. Before this season, he never hit more than eight in one year. Finally, he's gotten out of still-spell-it-out territory with 12 this year.
Neither of his home runs tonight were cheapies, though the ball does travel well in Arlington. The second home run was an especially deep shot to dead center.
Although he gave up nine hits against the Yankees in seven innings, the only runs allowed were the two solo shots from Gardner and kept Texas in it long enough for the Rangers to take the lead for good in a four-run fifth inning. Still, Darvish must look at Gardner's
.286/.365/1.143 .455/.500/1.545 career slash line against him and just shake his head.