Fast-forward to ... today, when Darvish retired the first 17 Astros he faced. And it probably should have been 18, at least if you believe this graphic:
Darvish's third pitch to Jonathan Villar wasn't close to the strike zone, and his fourth was marginal at best. That fifth pitch, though? That was a slider that seems to have caught a considerable hunk of the "corner" of the zone. Behind the plate, catcher A.J. Pierzynski really wanted that one. Also behind the plate, Sergeant Ron Kulpa wasn't in a charitable mood. So Darvish threw another slider, this time he buried it, and Villar trotted to first base.
Which was the proximate cause of Pierzynski perhaps becoming the first catcher in major-league history to get ejected in the middle of catching a no-hitter:
You get the feeling that Darvish is going to throw lots of no-hitters, but this might rank as A.J. Pierzynski's crowning achievement? I do.