Yu Darvish marks his debut on Texas Rangers uniform with the victory over Seattle Mariners. Although his debut isn’t quite impressive, Yu Darvish managed to help Rangers win against Mariners. He needed 42 pitches just to get out of the first inning!!!!!
Yu Darvish roughed up, but rights himself for first win
The Texas Rangers, trying to teach Japanese import Yu Darvish a little English of their own this spring, couldn’t help but have a little fun expanding his vocabulary with swear words.
Turns out the education came in quite handy, with Darvish muttering a few choice words under his breath Monday during his rocky Major League Baseball debut.
Darvish, unable to command his fastball or anything else, gave up four runs to the Seattle Mariners before he knew what hit him. Darvish needed 42 pitches just to get out of the first inning, issuing two four-pitch walks, and throwing just 22 strikes.
But Darvish, buoyed by a typically robust Texas Rangers offense that hit four home runs, recovered to nearly complete six innings, giving up five runs and leaving the game in line to earn the victory. A three-run home run from Nelson Cruz in the third inning and homers from Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler seemed to work wonders in calming down the Rangers rookie as he earned his first victory, 11-5.
“Mentally, I was very calm, but my body felt like it wanted to go and go and go,” Darvish said through his translator. “At the beginning of the game, my mind and my body kind of weren’t on the same page.”
He needed a good while to catch his breath.
Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki personally welcomed him to baseball in the United States with a single and double in his first two at-bats. Kyle Seager had three RBI in his first two plate appearances. Darvish hardly looked like the same guy who yielded a career 1.99 ERA in Japan, needing 74 pitches to labor through three innings.
Darvish, who gave up six hits and five earned runs in his first two innings, permitted nine of the first 15 batters he faced to reach base. He threw 26 balls and only 29 strikes in the first two innings, inducing just four swings and misses, and 10 Mariners came to the plate in the first inning alone.
Darvish finally posted a scoreless inning in the third, but that, too, wasn’t easy. Another countryman, Munenori Kawasaki, singled off Darvish, who then hit Brendan Ryan with a pitch. He only escaped damage when Figgins flew out to left and Dustin Ackley lined out sharply to shortstop.
“In the first inning, it just seemed like he couldn’t get control of his emotions. He checked himself, and showed what kind of battler and warrior he is,” manager Ron Washington said. “He got us into the sixth inning, almost finished the sixth.”
But at one point, Darvish settled down to retire 10 consecutive Mariners, and his final line was more respectable than his inauspicious beginning: 5 2/3 innings pitched, eight hits, five earned runs, four walks, five strikeouts.
Darvish also proved to be a huge gate attraction for his debut. The Rangers, who averaged 29,449 in their six weekday home games against the Mariners last year, announced a crowd of 42,003 for the Monday night game at the Ballpark in Arlington.
The game captivated all of Japan. It was televised live nationally at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Japan, and chronicled by nearly 80 Japanese reporters. There were 15 Japanese newspapers, six Japanese radio and TV networks and two wire services scheduled to cover the game.
“There is nothing comparable in American sports,” Rangers executive vice president John Blake said Sunday.
The Rangers believe that Darvish’s debut will be simply a blip on his season of greatness. Certainly, they’re not worried about him being acclimated to the American culture. Darvish, whose parents both speak fluent English, actually knows more English that he lets on to reporters. He speak English to his teammates, and despite setting foot in this country just two months ago, it’s as if grew up right along with them.
“Really, it feels like I’ve known him for 10 years,” Rangers starter Derek Holland said. “He fits in great. It’s going to be great having him around.” (Bob Nightengale – USA TODAY)