At first glance, the Texas Rangers’ newest, expensivest starting pitcher looked, well, pretty good.
Yu Darvish went two scoreless innings in the team’s Spring Training matchup with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, surrendering two hits (both doubles) and striking out three. His fastball generally sat around 92-94 MPH, his slider showed flashes of utter filthiness and his command seemed to be good--particularly for March--as of the 36 pitches he delivered, 26 were strikes.
San Diego’s Orlando Hudson delivered the first hit off Darvish of the spring, taking a high fastball to left and legging out a double in the first inning; then Will Venable took a 2-2 pitch off the wall in center to begin the second, and also ended up on second. Both, of course, were stranded as Darvish found his way out of trouble.
One of the more encouraging things to take from Darvish’s American debut, certainly, was his poise. On the ESPN telecast (which showed the first four hitters of Darvish’s debut, per some broadcasting rules I don’t understand) analyst Aaron Boone, for one, pointed out that the 25-year-old Japanese national looked as though the game was just another day of work--that, following Hudson’s double, he exhibited a veteran-like composure as he quickly worked out of trouble.
We’ll bring you more as we have it.