Over the past several weeks, the hype machine has worked overtime for Yu Darvish, quite possibly the greatest Japanese pitching import to invade the major leagues. As a result, thousands flocked to the desert this past March to see what the fuss was all about. He didn't disappoint. Over 15 innings he showcased a deep, variable repertoire, including a mystifying mid-90s fastball. Most impressively, in his final tune-up, the "rookie" sensation punched out 11 Rockies, leaving superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez completely awestruck.
Feeding the frenzy, many fanalysts offered bold predictions about Darvish preseason. Meanwhile, owners who bought into the hype hook, line and sinker, outstretched arms to secure the phenom's services. Skeptics, however, emphasized caution, citing several examples of busts along the way (e.g. Hideki Irabu).
Now, in front of a media frenzy that could rival the Super Bowl's, the much discussed hurler toes the rubber for his regular season debut, appropriately enough, against Japan's greatest hitter, Ichiro, a battle worthy of a Godzilla versus Mothra billing.
In honor of the Monday night madness, it's time to loosen up and have some fun Arcadians. Predict Darvish's line in the comments below (IP, HA, BB, ER, K, W/L/ND). And, if you're a fan of cheesy Michael Scott-like humor, please include a song title or lyrical pun that plays on Yu's name. For the uncreative, here are a few examples from Twitter to help you get the juices flowing.
Winner gets a two-foot long "Champion Dog" (not really). And a coronary (maybe).
To get the ball rolling, here are the Arcade staff's projections:
Brandon Funston: 7.1 IP, 6 HA, 2 BB, 2 ER, 8 K, W
Andy Behrens: 6.2 IP, 6 HA, 3 BB, 2 ER, 7 K, W
Scott Pianowski: 6.0 IP, 4 HA, 4 BB, 3 ER, 7 K, ND
Brad Evans: 7.0 IP, 5 HA, 3 BB, 1 ER, 9 K, W -- Oh baby Yuuuuuuu!!! Got what I need …