ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 14: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
What Yu Darvish did on Thursday night has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt. It wasn't a regular-season game. It wasn't even a spring training game. It was an exhibition game against the Mexico City Red Devils at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. But what Darvish did in his four innings of work was nothing short of spectacular as he showed in his final tuneup for the regular season what can be expected of him in his second major league season.
Darvish worked four innings, throwing 52 pitches, and 42 of those pitches were for strikes. He gave up one hit, struck out seven and walked none in a complete masterpiece, regardless of the opponent.
The knock on Darvish for much of last season, before the home stretch when he had eight straight good starts to close the season, was his tendency to walk batters. But over that final stretch of 2012 he cut down on his walks, and subsequently was much more successful. This spring, that trend has continued, as Darvish has walked just three hitters in more than 17 innings of work.
Darvish will make his season debut on Tuesday in Houston against a hapless Astros lineup, so the results should be more of the same.