Yu Darvish made the expected splash onto the MLB scene last year as a highly touted Japanese pitching prospect that was supposed to flip the script on the typical Japanese import and have staying power as a pitcher in the big leagues.
The quest for that begins today as Darvish will make his 2013 debut and look to continue trending upward after a stellar end to the 2012 season and a great spring. He'll start against the Houston Astros, who shocked the Rangers on Sunday night with an 8-2 victory after being projected as the worst team in the bigs this year and possibly one of the worst teams of all-time.
Darvish basically had one bad spring inning, but other than that he was lights out. He tossed 13 2/3 innings, giving up just eight hits with 15 strikeouts and three walks to show he had kept up his control that finally came on toward the end of 2012.
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Darvish finished last season with a 3.90 ERA and a 16-9 record, but was great over his final eight starts of the season. In those last eight outings, Darvish went 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA thanks to his cut down walks total, walking just 15 compared to 67 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.
If that is, in fact, the new Darvish and the one we can expect to see going forward, look for very big things from the second-year pitcher.