In a month and change, Yu Darvish has started to give Rangers’ fans an idea why he was regarded as a such the phenom in his native Japan. He’s caused a sustained media circus at the Ballpark, shut down the always-hated New York Yankees, and brought home some early season hardware as the American League Rookie of the Month for April.
Even after taking his first loss of the season on Sunday in Cleveland, Darvish is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 21 walks.
The degree to which folks have been surprised by Darvish’s effectiveness seems to be connected to how close they are to the team. Casual fans seem fairly surprised. More hardcore fans seem lesser so. And the folks in the Rangers’ clubhouse and front office, for the most part anyway, don’t seem the least bit surprised.
This last group, of course, includes the 25-year-old’s staff-mate Derek Holland who, in a recent appearance on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM, said the Rangers knew what they were getting when they made the play for Yu.
“I'm not surprised,” Holland said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He is who he is. We knew what we were getting. He's a legit, awesome pitcher. He was dominant over in Japan. All it took him was just a couple of starts to get himself comfortable. It's a little bit different game over here. They play, probably, more small ball over there than they do here.”