The Yu We're Looking For

Categories: Sports

yudarvish.jpg
And a tip of the cap to you, sir.
I woke up this morning on the hunt for video of Yu Darvish's Arlington gem from last night, for those who may have missed it. The numbers don't do it justice (although with 10 Ks in 8 1/3, the numbers are great). The guy just looked like an ace last night, in total control of what seemed to be about 47 pitches, and the deep bellow of Yuuuuuu from the crowd could surely be felt in the parking lot.

Anyway, the video. I found it -- a perfect Yu-only highlight reel from MLB.com. Sadly the bastards are anti-embedding, so I have to send you away to watch it. But trust me: If you missed last night's game and you're remotely interested in baseball, click away.

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Kava
Kava

Kid has lots of potentials.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

We are on start 4 of a 5 year contract.  We are going to have many a memorable outing by Yu, but shutting out the Yankees is pretty effing awesome. 

phe_75034
phe_75034

I was thinking the same thing last night.

With any luck at all, we'll be sitting on our barstools and couches in April 2016, watching Darvish contend for his third Cy Young, agonizing over where JD is going to find half-a-billion dollars to re-sign him, and we'll think back to last night as the first glimpse of the greatness.

Storm_71
Storm_71

I'm gonna steal this mostly from Newberg but anyway. Darvish looked arrogantly confident last night. That I think was the first time that I noticed this in his starts. He fucking knew he had the Yankees by the ball sacks the whole game and was just a cat playing with his food.

I'm looking forward to see what Scooter Feldman can bring tonight.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I noticed that in the 8th--dude had a "bring it on" look to him. Almost a modest arrogance, if that's possible.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

For those of you without ESPN Insider subscriptions, from the great Buster Olney:

There was a moment during Yu Darvish's start against the New York Yankees on Tuesday when Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli dropped into a squat to call a pitch and made an unusual sign -- sort of an upside-down L, aimed in the direction of the right-handed batter.

Ken Singleton, broadcasting the game on YES, noted that he had never seen a sign like this before. This is what a catcher must do when his pitcher has more than three or four or five pitches -- invent signals beyond the standard stuff.

It's one thing to be able to throw a lot of pitches, but it's a different kind of challenge entirely to maintain command of such a wide array. There are only so many bullets for a pitcher between starts, only so many times they can throw a baseball, and this is why a lot of pitchers will streamline their repertoire.

While throwing 35 to 50 pitches in their bullpen session, and while playing catch daily with their catching partner, they'll devote a certain percentage of their throws to fastballs, some to their breaking balls, some to their changeups -- depending on what pitch needs the most work, the most maintenance. Derek Holland is Darvish's catching partner, and he says the right-hander can somehow maintain command of all of his different pitches with minimal practice.

He throws a couple of different fastballs, two different speeds of curveballs (a hard curve and a big looping curveball), a slider, a cutter, a splitter. This means that he's probably throwing one or two of his pitches only four or five times a week and keeping them game-ready.

This is an incredible, difference-making skill, reflecting a gifted feel for how to make a baseball move. Imagine a quarterback who could master an entire offense while practicing particular plays only once or twice a season.

Pedro Martinez had this skill. Orlando Hernandez -- El Duque -- had this skill. Roy Halladay has this.

Yu Darvish has this.

From ESPN Stats & Info, how Darvish won:

A) Darvish threw 82 of 119 pitches (68.9 percent) for strikes, well above his 56.8 percent average entering the night.

B) He started 21 of 33 hitters (63.6 percent) with a first-pitch strike. In his first three starts, he threw a first-pitch strike to less than 48 percent of all hitters.

C) Thirteen of the 21 balls in play (61.9 percent) against Darvish were hit on the ground, compared with 42.1 percent in his first three starts. Twenty-two of Darvish's 25 outs were either grounders or strikeouts.

D) Lefties entered Tuesday hitting .313 against Darvish; the six Yankees lefties in the lineup Tuesday were 4-for-21 with eight strikeouts against Darvish.

E) Yankees lefties were 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in at-bats ending with Darvish's curveball.

F) Yankees hitters were 1-for-12 with five strikeouts with men on base.

G) The Yankees chased 25 Darvish pitches out of the strike zone; opponents had chased an average of 12 in Darvish's first three starts. Darvish is the second starting pitcher in Rangers history with 10 strikeouts and 0 ER against the Yankees. Joe Coleman struck out 11 in nine scoreless innings in 1969.

From Elias: Since divisional play began in 1969, only two other pitchers besides Darvish have hurled at least eight shutout innings with 10 or more strikeouts in their first career start against the Yankees: Baltimore's Bob Milacki on Sept. 28, 1988, and Cleveland's Bartolo Colon on Sept. 21, 1998.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 Loved watching the game.  The Yankee pitcher played well, too.  To me the biggest improvement was less reliance on the fastball and much more ball movement and better placement.  Time to rinse and repeat.

Might be time for sign language lessons, or Neftali learning some japanese and Yu and him getting miked up a la Nolan Ryan.

Beautiful performance.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Thanks for the insight Mert.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

 "Darvish is the second starting pitcher in Rangers history with 10 strikeouts and 0 ER against the Yankees. Joe Coleman struck out 11 in nine scoreless innings in 1969."

Wouldn't Joe Coleman have been a Washington Senator at that time?  Meaning Darvish would have been the first Ranger?

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Buster probably would have been better off slipping the word "franchise" in between "Rangers" and "history," but it's clear what he meant.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Forgive the hijacking here, but I've got a rant pent up.

Fox Sports Southwest, grow the fuck up. Your Rangers broadcast fucking sucks.

I know you can handle doing a quality game broadcast because the Mavs presentation is one. So why the hell do Rangers broadcasts come across so bush league? This team is the 2-time defending AL champs in the 4th largest market in baseball--stop giving us the same presentation the shitty early 2000s teams got. The team and the game is the entertainment, we don't need all the ancillary bullshit, hijinks, and stupidity. How do they annoy me? Let me count the ways:

1. Missing first pitches. We've gone over it, but it's not forgotten.2. It's 2012, get all your fucking commercials in HD already.3. Jim fucking Knox.4. The people Jim fucking Knox puts on camera. A screaming lady is fan of the game? A fat hispanic baby is a Pudge clone?5. The low-res webcam they're using for booth shots.6. Shout-outs to old people and cookie ladies. During important situations.7. Taking the camera out to the concourse for drunken loudmouth shots8. TAG's gone lazy homer.9. FSSW Girls. Again, it's 2012. We can find hot girls on the internet any time we want. While watching the Rangers game at the same time.10. Booth interviews and the general feeling of the game as an infomercial

It's getting to where I really look forward to road trips because the broadcast feels far more professional, focused, and we don't get portrayed as boozing redneck fans.

I feel better.

And Yu was pretty freaking awesome last night.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Couldnt agree more, seems the broadcast tries to shove too many bits into its broadcast.  Knoxie once a night is more than enough.  I enjoy the sights and sound of the game, but Im tired of the whiny girl or the overbearing dude doing stupid shit for TV. 

just sayin'
just sayin'

Don't forget TAG talking about banana bread, cookies, and all the other horseshit that people evidently bake and send to the broadcast booth. Nobody cares and we all know that nobody on the broadcast team is eating that garbage. Like TAG is going to eat pecan sandies from an unknown kitchen. Those guys can't take the chance that they are eating pot brownies. Although it does sound like someone sneaked some ketamine into their coffee.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

I couldn't agree more. I was so happy to watch Monday's game on ESPN. The coverage by FSSW has such a small-market, cable-access, early-'90's feel to it. It bends my brain into a pretzel trying to understand how they can pay such big bucks for the broadcasting rights and do such a poor job presenting it. And why they don't have Nadel doing both radio and TV is beyond me.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Didn't Nadel turn that down Sam?  I would effing love that twice.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'm pretty sure JSB is right, I think I recall (don't remember where, doh) Nadel saying he greatly prefers radio because he's painting the picture with words. His uniform descriptions wouldn't be nearly the same on TV.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Not that I'm aware of. Why would he turn down such an offer? More money for the same amount of work is tough to beat. And it's not like he needs to change his style.

It makes too much sense, which is why it will never happen.

Lexie
Lexie

Joe, please hire Sam to do Rangers blog posts for us. PLEASE. We semi-promise to be nice.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 Good points.  Love Nadel.  Local TV, its DISD production standards, and worse commercials are beyond me.  Was in San Antonio this weekend watching some Spurs on TV.  Can't evaluate the announcers but the ads were even worse than the rangers, even worse than late night TV.  Maybe it's time for a broadcasting survival feature where every inning somebody with no team or previous baseball connections calls an inning and thgey get fired until they find a good announcer.  Sam, you busy evenings?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I miss Josh more than anyone..but not really comprehending the bagging on TAG.  He's still the Rangerman I'd most like to drink beeras with..if I had to work with Barnett everyday, umm.. I probably would be daydreaming a bit too.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It's just amazing to see the difference between Mavs and Rangers games on the same channel. Mavs games are Dunham and Miller, Rangers games are whatever crap The Fan rolls on the air.

The worst part of Barnett versus Josh is the backwards slide TAG has made--Josh kept him on his toes.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Yeah, my dad, who is pretty hillbilly(double wide trailer, 10 dogs, but has a nicer truck than I do and heavy equipment littering his land) doesn't miss a game on his 60" flat screen. It's kind of humorous actually.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 They love their Spurs.  Mom won't go out on Spurs TV nights.  Make Dallas sports fans look like near death members of Lord's Cricket.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

As a former San Antonio resident, all I can say to stick up for them is they have one pro sports broadcast. It is very small town, not too different from what you have in places like Milwaukee, or Sacramento, or cities that have one franchise.Dallas has 4 franchises that have every game broadcasted. I would expect a much crisper presentation on anything Dallas-related.Also, they pretty much tried that when they didn't like Lewin and replaced him with Rhadigan. People like us revolted against it, and it's not hard to stomach Barnett.

Storm_71
Storm_71

I gotta admit Tag is wearing thin on me.

Storm_71
Storm_71

I mostly agree with what you said. I know I am in the minority on this one but I don't mind Knox in small doses. I do think they cut to him far more than they need to. I don't really care if the commercials are in HD or not because more times than not I am forwarding past them. The booth interviews, I don't mind when they bring Mclemore in because at least he talks baseball for the most part.

I do have one more bitch that I can add to your list. How about getting a fucking camera centerd right behind the pitcher instead of at an angle. I would like to see the path of the pitch not a side angle version of it.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Cain't change that camera angle Stormy..might mis out on some of that advertising their selling to left of home plate.  Twas great watching the Minnesota games because of the centered camera.

primi timpano
primi timpano

 And show us the pitching "square" every pitch.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

My interview point was more related to the spring training games, I do agree with you about Mac. It's the times when they'll bring in a NASCAR driver, a minor celebrity, or someone not related to baseball or the Rangers where I get annoyed with it. A guy portraying Captain Morgan doesn't belong.

I did grow to love Minnesota's camera angle rather quickly. And it was in Minnesota where I realized I hated the home game broadcasts.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You also haven't ended up in a Ranger booth during a game.

Or have you?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'm known to portray the Capn sometimes...Don't really dress like em, but pretty fond of some Capn and DC from time to time..and raising one knee..you gotta do that.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Can I join your rant?-Not enough Mini-Yu for ya pal?-What's up with the commercials in spanish? Nationwide is so wheels off, first you hit me with Dale Jr. then I have to check and make sure I'm not on Univision or that I haven't changed my SAP to spanish.-Jim Knox is a joke. Other broadcasts make fun of him and he's a regular on Deadspin.-Is it me or is the HD on channel 21 just not that great? -I still feel a little jobbed that Josh Lewin was kicked to the curb for Rhadigan. No offense to Dave Barnett, I grew up watching the guy every Saturday on Raycom's college game of the week or whatever it was. I guess he's less offensive to the demographic.-No point in having the FSSW girls. Give me highlights of Josh blasting a homer 420 feet or Yu striking someone out. Or even, Michael Young making a play at 3rd.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I like baseball!I only got to watch from the 6th inning on due to kids baseball practices, and wow. The wife was disappointed that Warsh pulled him(isn't it fun explaining baseball to women?) but it was the right thing to do. To shut the Yanks out for the 2nd time this season, is pretty impressive.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

it wasnt just your wife, my baseball buddies were bitching about it.  They dont trust Nathan.  So I pulled a Norm on them and said why the eff have him then, just cut him.  Anyhow, thats the $100 million dollar man we paid for, Gawd its only going to get better

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Gagreed. You have Nathan for a reason and if someone's going to get the loss, I'd rather it be him than Yu. It would be pretty damaging for him to shut the Yanks out for 8+ innings then have them tie it and not get anything out of it or even lose the lead. I'll trust any decision that Wash makes.In other news, the Angels lose again and drop to 6-11, and tonight have Ceej on the mound against Hellickson.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Thanks for not having that Seattle tard try to analyze Darvish's pitching again.Since that 1st inning his ERA is 1.08

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'm remotely interested in baseball! But alas I watched every pitch live last night.  Way to throw a bone Senor Tone, keep up the keeping up.

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