Just a few quick things this morning, in lieu of a full-fledged game recap:
● We've been on an extended little run of kvetching about Yu Darvish, during which we've wondered frequently and overtly about when he would get things back on track, and last night's effort was a tremendous step back in the right direction for the now age-26 right-hander (7.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HR), as it marked just the second time this season where he allowed three or fewer hits that deep into a game, and signified the first time all season where he allowed one or fewer walks.
Darvish wasn't immaculate, and he was severely burned by some really unfortunate sequencing (the walk-homer combo in the first inning to vault the Blue Jays into an early 2-0 lead, and then the triple-single combo with two outs in the fifth inning to re-extend their lead to 3-1), but he was as good as we've seen him all season long, spinning both fastballs and breaking balls in and out of the zone as legit swing-and-miss offerings and killing Blue Jays hitters from either side of the plate with an abundance of glove-side pitches buried within the bottom of the strike zone. Yeah, he committed a few mistakes (chief among them being the hanging slider that Edwin Encarnacion absolutely destroyed), but this was as good as we've seen him, and you hope that this is an outing he can ultimately feel good about and build upon.
● It was intimated on Friday afternoon that Ryan Dempster would be missing this series and remaining stateside because he had misplaced his passport, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Drew Davisonreports this morning that Dempster actually left the team to attend to a custody-related issue with his children, which is apparently part of the fallout from his ongoing divorce. As a result, Roy Oswalt grabs the spot start today, and while I don't think the starting rotation status quo is at serious risk of being disrupted with anything that's going on here, you do imagine that Oswalt can help his starting rotation cause if he can turn in 5-6 good innings today. He may not get that opportunity again this year, but with the kind of rotation turnover we've witnessed this year and the ever-fluctuating rotation performance, I don't think you can completely rule Oswalt out of this mix.