That was ... anticlimactic. It's not like Yu Darvish was supposed to pitch a perfect game in his first start, but a no-hitter would have been nice. Instead, the young righty was wild, walking four and hitting a batter in 5⅔ innings. He allowed five runs, but he also picked up a win. If he wins 20 games, and that round number puts him over the top for the Cy Young, this start gives a great example for the stupidity of the stat. Not that you needed another one.
With the help of the great Lone Star Ball, here's a roundup of what they're saying about Darvish's debut in the Rangersverse. First, we'll get some simple facts, with a strike-zone plot from Brooks Baseball by way of SB Nation Dallas. The green squares are the called balls thrown by Darvish, and you can see that some of them likely ended up in Galveston. Dude was wild.
And that was the main thing to take away from the start. Dude was wild. That led Kevin Sherrington to drop the dreaded Bobby Witt comparison:
By the time he got out of a 42-pitch first inning that included a pitch off the backstop and a sequence in which he walked one batter on four straight pitches and struck out the next on three, Yu Darvish had already conjured memories of another highly anticipated Rangers rookie right-hander.
Maybe you weren't hoping for a rehash of Bobby Witt, circa 1986.
Richard Justice went for the resiliency angle, quoting Nolan Ryan.
"He got better each inning," Ryan said. "That was very encouraging. He didn't have a feel for the first inning or two, and he kept battling away. I thought he was pretty hyped up for the game. If you're competitive, you'll have nerves. I'm sure sitting around the last three days has been hard, and I think this probably seemed forever for him before he got out there.
Darvish's perseverance was also the focus of Randy Galloway from the Star-Telegram:
That led to overthrowing the fastball, and with no control of that pitch, Darvish "went to his other pitches, and never got the feel for those," added Washington. "But in the end, he nearly made six innings. I don't think anyone in this room thought in the first inning that he'd still be around for the sixth."
Wild as heck, but lucky enough to get the win. With that, here's the wild-as-heck-yet-lucky metaphorical GIF of the day: