ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 28: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 28, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mastery [mas-tuh-ree], noun
1. Command, or grasp
2. Superiority or victory
3. Yu Darvish on April 24 in Anaheim
Yup, it's true. Yu Darvish put on a pitching exhibition like none other on Wednesday night in the Texas Rangers' 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Darvish worked six scoreless innings, striking out 11, as his pitches ranged from 98 mph to 61 mph. He was better, and his stuff was better, than on that near-perfect night in Houston when he worked 8 2/3 perfect innings.
No. 11 for the Rangers struck out 11, marking the 11th time in his career he's recorded double-digit strikeouts. He stopped the Rangers' losing skid at one, something he's become very proficient at, something that is the calling card of a bonafide ace pitcher and helped the Rangers remain as the only team in baseball without consecutive losses this season.
If you don't believe that it was his finest game to date as a Ranger, that's fine, but maybe this will help you. This is a wonderful gif file put together that shows all five of his pitches in an Albert Pujols at-bat.
Wow. Just wow. Pick up your jaw and enjoy the rest of your day while being thankful the Rangers decided to drop $51,703,411 to negotiate with this guy.