Happy Darvish Day ! (Start #19)

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:

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Happy Darvish Day ! (Start #8)

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.

Ugh, kilometers, I know. That’s 97 MPH.

A Brief Examination of Death By Yu Darvish

私はいじめっ子です

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.

VICTIM 1:

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.

VICTIM 2:

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
  • Batter: *is still dead*

***

Daily Darvish. Get some.

What Has Changed About Chris Davis ?

This past January, Baseball Prospectus’ Sam Miller explored the possibility of former Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds having a very unfortunate visual deficiency. It got me thinking.

Baltimore Orioles first baseman/designated hitter/occasional disastrous right fielder Chris Davis is off to an unbelievable start to the 2013 season. Through 14 games and 58 humble plate appearances, Davis is slugging a comical .784 with 20 RBI and 6 dingers. In 2011, split between Texas and Baltimore, Davis drove in 18 runs and hit 5 dingers over 210 plate appearances. Last year, he broke out in a full season with the O’s, blasting 33 home runs and driving in 85. He’s always had big time raw power, but it’s never translated to this extent.  So what changed? What has changed about Chris Davis that has turned him into a true middle-of-the-order threat? 

It had to be something subtle, I pondered. He hasn’t developed a new approach or magically acquired improved hand-eye coordination to help reduce the strikeouts. I believe Chris Davis has actually eliminated a part of his game in order to improve his performance.

After nearly a full 10 minutes of research, I’ve concluded that Chris Davis has decided to stop blinking. It seems hard to comprehend, but the evidence is overwhelming. Let’s take a look back at Davis’ days as a Texas Ranger.

Here are some conveniently timed screenshots of Chris Davis participating in interviews as a Ranger:

blink 1  blink 5

Here is Chris Davis blinking, or being a pervert:

blink 3

Here is Chris Davis blinking in front of his locker (notice his abysmal numbers through 45 games):

blink 6

Here is a frustrated Chris Davis blinking:

blink 4

Here is Chris Davis blinking after hitting a home run:

blink 2

Here is Chris Davis probably blinking:

blink 7

***

So we’ve identified the problem. Has Davis really fixed this horrendous flaw in his game?

Here is Chris Davis not blinking as two female fans admire his biceps:

Here is Chris Davis showcasing his new and improved eternal stare:

Here is Chris Davis not blinking while being interviewed during spring training:

Here is Chris Davis shirtless and still not blinking:

“You thought I was gonna blink, right? Wrong.”

I rest my case, your honor.