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Yu Darvish impresses in his first major league action

Mar 7, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT

Yu Darvish

Months of anticipation of Yu Darvish‘s debut led up to less than a half hour of baseball action, but it was exciting baseball action all the same. The tale of the tape: two innings, 36 pitches, 26 strikes, no runs, a couple of hits, three strikeouts, a spiffy defensive play and the beginning of what’s bound to be a fabulous career.

My first impression of Darvish: he’s tall. We knew he was tall, but after seeing a half inning of Jeff Suppan before him, he looked all the taller. He also throws hard. We knew he threw hard, but after seeing a half inning of Jeff Suppan before him, he looked like he threw all the harder. And, at least according to these uneducated eyes, he had offspeed and breaking stuff that should be illegal.

Not that it was perfect: he gave up two doubles. One, by Orlando Hudson, was not very hard hit. The other, by Will Venable, was tattooed and probably would have been a homer if not for the very tall wall in center field here at the Peoria Sports Complex.  Venable was erased a couple batters later, however, when James Darnell chopped one in front of the plate, Darvish reached up tall — did I mention he was tall? — stabbed it, fired to his catcher and caught Venable in between third and home.  Greg Maddux, who has been working with Darvish in Rangers camp as a special assistant and made that play hundreds of times in his career, is likely to be proud.

Apart from that: three strikeouts: Cameron Maybin to lead off, Carlos Quentin to end the first and then John Baker to end the second.  Quention and Baker looked confused at the offspeed stuff. Baker looked practically lost. He may have well as had a piano leg with him.

And a final note that tells us that Darvish is a different guy altogether. Strike two to Baker was a hard foul back that just cleared the screen behind the plate and made the concourse just to the third base side. A man dove for the ball, dropping what was in his hands, and laid out full on the concrete to pick up the souvenir.  The man who dove: a credentialed Japanese photographer. The thing he dropped: a very expensive-looking camera.

You don’t do that for just anyone. But you do it for Yu.

  1. Lukehart80 - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Let the wild rumpus start!

    • - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      “wild rumpus”. My goal for the next week will be to work this into a casual conversation. Because we all have to have goals in life.

  2. phukyouk - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM


    • cur68 - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      I was gonna make a crack “youk” dropping the camera, ‘youk, but then I got sidetracked by cool Japanese names. Did you know the AIRI- (eye-ree) means “love & affection”? Seems so. Not gonna look at Mr. Collin’s handle the same after this.

  3. cur68 - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Yu good, yeah?

  4. icanspeel - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Small sample size, but I noticed it was all lefties who looked the best vs him. Hudson Double, Venable near homer and even Kotsay mighta had a hit if not for a michael young dive. But the righties looked over matched.

  5. Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    You go, Yu Hurling Darvish you!!!!!

  6. sfm073 - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Let’s see how he does in August after he’s pitched every 5th day something he’s never done.

  7. mckludge - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Everything I do …… I do it for Yu

    Now we need to make a new version of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” with Yu Darvish, Michael Watt, and Chin-Lung Hu.

  8. El Bravo - Mar 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Me and Yu, Yo momma, and yo cousin too!

  9. SOBEIT - Mar 7, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Please we already had enough of the Lin puns to the point of overkill…don’t start with him.

    Great to see he had a nice start, but that is all it is for now. Hitters are usually at a disadvantage the first time around. But a good start is a good start. Let’s see what he does during the season. Looking forward to his starts.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      What are these Lin puns of which Yu speak? Is there somebody named Lin on a major league roster?

  10. sabatimus - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Two innings…………..wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  11. cmutimmah - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Forget Yu, how did Suppan pitch?

    • channingtaintum - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      according to Craig’s story, he’s shorter and slower than Yu Darvish, and that’s really about all I needed to know.

  12. rohlo - Mar 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    guy could be good? kinda cocky IMO will veneable of the padres rocked a straight to center 400 ft+++ double off him…only reason it was a double is becasue of the huge wall to straight would have been out of any ballpark in mlb and he squared up on the hit as well… yu’s response- “it was kind of wind aided” LMAO the wind is what kept it from clearing the huge center field wall!! the wind was blowing in as well!! what a douche!! i say “FAHK YU”.. cant believe teams would pay so much to negotiate with these overated asian pitchers and hitters.. dice k has been mediocre or injured and foukodome has been average as well!

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