Baseball Magazine

Damn Yu! - Texas Rangers Rookie Yu Darvish Struggles Mightily in MLB Debut

By Beardandstache @BeardAndStache

Yu Darvish


- Adam Parker

Yu-mania abound as Texas Rangers rookie pitcher Yu Darvish made his Major League Baseball debut on Monday at home against the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Whether you were in the stands or watching at home on the old 'tele', you were fortunate enough to be on hand to watch the newest Japanese import light it up on the mound.
You were on hand to watch as the baffled Mariners posted zero after zero for every inning that Yu was out there tearing them a new one and slicing through Seattle's lineup like sushi.
Only that's not what happened.
Not even close.
Darvish's debut was not at all what this writer -- or any Rangers' fan worldwide for that matter -- would have expected.
You could say, I suppose, that Yu had a case of the jitters out of the gates and was a little rough around the edges -- giving up 4 runs in the first inning alone. In total, Darvish gave up five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, walking four and striking out five in the process.
To say Darvish's first Major League start was a train wreck is arguably the biggest understatement in the young season.
Yu stunk it up.
Yu wet the bed.
The man everyone in baseball circles everywhere was touting as Japanese Jesus on a baseball diamond got full-on reamed by the normally offensively-impotent Mariners.
Darvish's fellow countrymen -- Munenori Kawasaki and Ichiro Suzuki -- had his number and went a combined 4-6 against him, including three hits from batting maestro Ichiro.
You're not in Kansas anymore, Yu. Or rather, you're no longer playing in the Japanese baseball league for the Nippon Ham Fighters where you dominated seemingly every time you were handed the ball.
You're playing with the big boys now, where the overall talent level is staggeringly higher than it was in good ol' Japan.
But luckily for Yu, playing for the Rangers in the big leagues is a double-edged sword.
Darvish may not have dominated in his first big-league start like he consistently did in Japan, but I also doubt he had the likes of Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland or Ian Kinsler waiting to pick up the slack and provide run support to help get him his first professional victory in his inaugural start.
Yu probably reacted like he'd just pulled the fifth and final Wonka's golden ticket after getting picked up by the Rangers, and rightfully so.
He may have some rough outings throughout his career, but as long as he's pitching in the Rangers Ballpark at Arlington, you can bet that even something as little as a bunt by a Rangers player will leave the yard with the way the ball carries in that stadium -- almost like it's magnetically fastened to an invisible tractor beam.
With that kind of offensive mojo backing him up, Yu Darvish will be a household name in the states in no time.
Enjoy it, Yu.
You made out like a bandit on this one.
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