The stat line might not show it, but Ron Washington and Yu Darvish both believed his start on Monday night was a step forward.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had a different perspective on the matter.

"I never saw him look like that," said Valentine, who managed against Darvish in Japan. "He wasn't very good, actually. His stuff was flat, I thought. He's working on stuff, I guess. I don't know."

Darvish went into the game focused on throwing more strikes, and he did that. On the negative side, the Boston Red Sox roped balls down the line, in the gaps and off the Green Monster all night.

In the end, Darvish had given up the most doubles by a pitcher in franchise history, and the Red Sox rolled to a 9-2 victory at Fenway Park.