It’s been a while since I did one of these, so it felt right to bring it back tonight as Darvish is coming off the DL to face the Yankees at home. Despite missing a few starts due to injury, Darvish is tied for the major league lead in strikeouts with 157 in 119.1 innings. Tonight, he will face a desecrated Yankees lineup and should be able to strike out Luis Cruz more than once. In case you forgot how fantastic Yu is, here’s a refresher:
Tonight, Yu Darvish will make his 14th start of the year at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. Last outing, Yu was in Toronto to face the Jays, striking out 7 over 7 innings. Darvish now leads the majors with 118 strike outs through 88.1 innings pitched.
Last week, Yu Darvish had arguably his worst start of the year, giving up one run and striking out six over 6 innings against Oakland. Today, he’ll be in Arizona facing the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of a particularly strange double-header.
Yu Darvish will start this evening against the Houston Astros. Last time Darvish faced Houston, he was one out away from a perfect game. Since it’s Yu Darvish and since it’s Houston, we can pretty much expect the same thing. So get pumped. Here are three professional Japanese hitters that had absolutely no chance against Yu’s four-seam fastball.
As if the Internet hasn’t freaked out about Yu Darvish enough over the last 24 hours, I’m back to take a look at two of Darvish’s victims from his days in Japan. Since half the world’s population has already seen this .gif (as they should), I’ve decided to take a different route.
When Darvish came over last year, we all scurried to our computers or mobile devices to watch some video of the half Japanese, half Iranian freak show of awesomeness. It did not disappoint. While scouring said video, I came across two strikeout victims of Darvish’s that stood out to me. Let’s take a look.
Darvish unleashes a true 80-grade slider to an innocent batter who simply collapses while attempting to make contact. This is a batter that probably has a wife and kids. Those beloved assumed family members had to watch him fall victim to this torturous sin of a pitch. His back leg straight up dies on him and then the rest of his embarrassed body goes down with it. I enjoy the catcher receiving the pitch and then turning away as if to avoid looking at the dumbfounded batter…or he got hit in the nuts. I can’t really tell. Anyway, I love this. But it’s not nearly as awesome as this next one.
Darvish throws a 90 MPH fastball Up and In and the batter swings, quite literally, for his life. The fact that it wasn’t actually that close to his head makes this even better. Let’s just imagine the thoughts of each human being involved in this beautiful sequence.
Darvish: Okay, he wants up and in. I can do that.
Catcher: Up and in, Yu. Right here.
Batter: oh my god oh my god oh my god what am I gonna do
Umpire: how the hell am I supposed to call this guy
Darvish: *goes into windup*
Batter: okay man you got this just go into your leg kick and
Darvish: *releases ball*
Batter: DEAR GOD WHAT THE SHIT *swings* *dies*
Catcher: *catches pitch* whoops
Umpire: uhhh is he breathing
Darvish: *sheepishly touches back of head* hehe I’m Yu Darvish
I’m legitimately unsure how this pitch is even possible coming from a someone that isn’t a bad high school pitcher or Barry Zito by accident.
Watch the guy second from the left of the chyron in the black jacket and black hat. As he sees the pitch drop into Pierzynski’s glove, he turns away slightly as if he just witnessed something literally disgusting.
The umpire clearly took immense pleasure in ringing Trout up on a pitch that looks frighteningly similar to Bugs Bunny’s trickery.
Stay tuned for more Darvish .gifs. Later today, I’ll examine his most vicious attacks on two unfortunate Japanese hitters.