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Yu Darvish uneven in major league debut

Apr 9, 2012, 10:36 PM EDT

Yu Darvish AP MLB debut AP

Yu Darvish‘s major league debut didn’t go exactly as planned tonight against the Mariners, but he certainly showed flashes of why the Rangers broke the bank to bring him into the fold.

In what was likely a case of the nerves, Darvish allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in a 42-pitch first inning. The runs scored on a couple of bloop singles and a bases-loaded walk. While he didn’t look long for this one initially, the Japanese right-hander recovered quite nicely from there, allowing one run over his final 4 2/3 innings before being pulled after 110 pitches.

All told, Darvish gave up five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking four. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Not the prettiest line, but he showed good velocity and retired 10 in a row at one point before walking Dustin Ackley with two out in the top of the sixth. He was finally pulled after giving up a single to Ichiro Suzuki, who went 3-for-4 against him on the night.

Fortunately for Darvish, the Rangers’ offense really picked him up tonight, scoring eight runs over the first four innings. He could actually walk away from his first major league start with a victory.

UPDATE: Darvish got the win, as the Rangers topped the Mariners 11-5.

  1. cup0pizza - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Rough, ROUGH first inning but after that he looked pretty solid for the most part.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      I agree. That was a rough 1st. He is really lucky that he has the Rangers offense behind him.

      • xavier46 - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:53 AM

        So what you’re trying to tell me is that he had a rough first inning, huh?

      • fellspointbird - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:08 AM

        I prefer to think of them as “coarse” innings. But I come up w other names across the season as well, from the “8th Inning Strike Zone” (huge against the Yanks), to the “One Pitch Worker” (also known as the “I Ain’t Got Nothing Today”).

  2. bigdeal701 - Apr 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Darvish will be fine, he was a little shaky due to nerves but settled down nicely.

  3. storebrandcookies - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    I was at the game and he looked jittery in the first inning. Wasn’t commanding the fastball the way he wanted to. But later on his stuff was great. I’ve never witnessed a bigger ovation for a pitcher who gave up 5 runs like Yu did.

  4. torothebronxbull - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    He’s another Hideki Irabu, Daisuke Matsusaka, Chien Ming Wang type…all the hype, huge contract, and once teams get a few looks at him, he’ll be walloped all over the park…enjoy it while it lasts…one good season if he’s lucky…lol

  5. cur68 - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    Pitchin’ to the score, a la Morris. He knows how to win.

    • paperlions - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM

      I think that should be called “pitching to the offense”. When you know your team’s offense is fantastic, you give up some early runs to motivate them.

      • cur68 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        er…does he still know how to win, the?

  6. uyf1950 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:40 AM

    Let’s see the Rangers let CJ Wilson walk. Where he signed with the Angels for 5 yrs/$77MM +/-. Instead they signed Darvish at a cost of 6 yrs/$110MM +/- (including posting fee).

    Yesterday’s stats on the 2 pitchers:
    Wilson: 7 innings, 1 ER, 3 hits
    Darvish: 5 2/3 innings, 5 ER’s, 8 hits

    Darvish is lucky he didn’t get pulled during or after the 1st inning. I’m sure the Rangers just didn’t want to embarrass either him or themselves by removing their $100MM plus man in his 1st outing. Welcome to MLB Yu, you’re not in Japan anymore. Imagine when he pitches against some of the more offensive minded AL teams.

    • tibbs7 - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:25 AM

      Wait till the postseason where the numbers for both pitchers will be reversed.

  7. artisan3m - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Maybe Darvish will settle down ~ ~ maybe. Derek Holland was shaky and we test drive Neftali Feliz tonight. Harrison and Lewis pitched well but it looks like the Ranger’s pitching strength may be its bullpen. There is no question that the batting order is one of the most potent in baseball ~ but you can’t spot a team five runs and expect to chalk up many “W’s.” Still, I won’t trash a team or a pitcher based on one game.

    • philiplewis1 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Not sure what you mean about the starting pitching. It’s easily the best 5 the Rangers have ever been able to put out there. Right off the bat, you can’t expect all 5 starters to have pitch shutouts. The 4 Ranger starters so far have all shown signs of what is to come. Feliz is likely to produce as well. If the Rangers have a weakness, it’s Ron Washington who can’t stand leaving a pitcher in the game. Even with a shutout going on Sunday, he keeps pulling pitchers. They would have won the game on Saturday if he had left Ogando in who was untouchable in his one “assigned inning”. I would love to see a return to the “old days” when there was no such thing as a closer. If you were pitching well, you stayed in.

  8. carolinakid - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    That performance is what I would call a Whorling Darvish !

  9. beefytrout - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    The kid was making his MLB debut, and was obviously under more pressure than your usual pitcher doing so. Every SP in the game today has had an awful inning like that; Darvish’s came during his first inning ever. Look at how he responded.

  10. dlindstedt2 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Hey just think, They paid what 55 or so million to talk to him, and he pitched 42 pitches in the first inning, he was 13 pitches away from making it an even million a pitch.

    I hope this kid makes it, I want to see more foreign players making the jump. You can’t tell me Ichiro wasn’t good for the Mariners.

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