Yu Darvish KO’s Eleven for Rangers in Final Cactus League Start: A Fan’s Take

The Texas Rangers' new pitcher Yu Darvish finished his spring strong and looks more than ready to step into the big leagues with the Rangers this season. In his final Cactus League appearance, he pitched six innings in a 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on March 30.

Yu Darvish
Wikimedia Commons

Darvish surrendered three of those runs, giving six hits and one walk. He threw 98 pitches but struck out an impressive 11 batters on the night. Following the spring, Darvish's ERA is 3.60 but opposing batters are only hitting .226 against him. Even more impressive is that the Rockies' two best hitters, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, combined to go 0-for-6 against him with all six of the at-bats strikeouts.

Of his six hits, five came at the hands of Jason Giambi and Todd Helton, who finished the game with two doubles and a homer.

Before he gets his first regular season start next week, in the No. 4 position in the rotation, Darvish will throw one more game, this one against the Rangers' Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders. He will throw four innings and then get his first real start against the Seattle Mariners on April 9.

Seattle opened their season early with two games against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. In the first game, Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki impressed his fellow countrymen with a 4-for-5 performance, hitting .800 with one RBI. The second game was less eventful, with Ichiro going 0-for-4 in a 4-1 loss.

The game on April 9 should attract a large Japanese audience as their beloved Ichiro goes head-to-head with their latest MLB export, Yu Darvish. In Japan, Darvish was the best pitcher in the country. Along the way, he won Nippon Professional Baseball's version of the Cy Young award once and the Pacific League's MVP twice.

He also helped his teams win both the Japan Series and the World Baseball Classic. Texas hopes that he will be the key that finally unlocks their first ever World Series championship after making it to their first two in franchise history over the past two seasons.

Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and has been a Texas Rangers fan his entire life, watching the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate play for over 30 years. While Texas has moved their Triple-A team, Shawn still remains a loyal Rangers fan and awaits the year they finally win the big one.

Source: texasrangers.com

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Updated Saturday, Mar 31, 2012