Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Poised Darvish dazzles in debut

PEORIA, Ariz. — Yu Darvish flashed a sizable assortment of pitches, a huge smile and even some nice leather in his debut for the Rangers on Wednesday.

What he didn't show was any nerves.

"I've thrown in so many games, you know?" he said through a translator.

The right-hander, 25, was a dominant pitcher for seven years in Japan before the Rangers spent more than $107 million to acquire him this winter.

Darvish struck out three in two scoreless innings and made a run-saving play in a 6-2 win over a Padres split squad. His debut at Peoria Sports Complex was chronicled by more than 150 reporters, most from Japan.

"I was really looking forward to pitching," Darvish said.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander with the shaggy, orange-tinted hair and a dark goatee whose stated goal is to become the world's best pitcher threw exclusively out of the stretch, something he had cleared with pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Twenty-six of his 36 pitches were strikes, and he allowed two hits, both doubles, including one by Will Venable off the center-field wall leading off the second.

Darvish struck out his first batter, Cameron Maybin, looking, and his last, John Baker, swinging. He also made two nice defensive plays, one covering the bag when first baseman Michael Young dived to rob Mark Kotsay of a hit.

"He got over pretty quick. He's definitely a little more athletic than some of the Japanese pitchers that we've seen come over here," Maybin said.

Then, came his really big defensive play. With Venable racing in from third with the apparent first run of the game, Darvish reached high to snare James Darnell's high hopper.

Venable froze as Darvish fired to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who chased Venable back down the line a few steps before tagging him out.

"Yeah, he's really tall," Young said. "I don't think we have many guys who can make that play."

CUBAN STAR NEARLY READY: A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban defector who signed a four-year, $36 million contract in February, is expected to make his Cactus League debut this weekend. Cespedes, 26, has been working out and participating in drills since arriving in Arizona on Friday.

SCOUT EJECTED: Giants manager Bruce Bochy apparently thought a rival scout was getting too much of a good look at his team. At Bochy's request, a scout for the Angels who was watching the Giants take infield practice was ejected from Scotts­dale Stadium. "I don't think it's the time for scouts to be there," Bochy said.

CARDS HONORED: Baseball's Hall of Fame will honor three generations of Cardinals' World Series champions on July 21, the day before this year's induction ceremonies. Hall officials said there will be a special recognition for the living managers who led the Cardinals to World Series titles: Red Schoendienst (1967), Whitey Herzog (1982) and Tony La Russa (2006 and last year).

A'S: DH Manny Ramirez, the (briefly) former Ray, was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of back stiffness.

ORIOLES: Left-handed reliever Wei-Yin Chen, signed out of Japan, made a clean exhibition debut, pitching two scoreless innings against the Twins and striking out the side in his second inning.

PIRATES: Second baseman Neil Walker was a late scratch because of lower-back soreness and is expected to miss another 2-3 days.

RED SOX: Left-hander Andrew Miller, a candidate for the fifth starter's job, was scratched from his scheduled outing today with stiffness in his pitching elbow.

ROCKIES: Making his first appearance since July 20, 2010, left-hander Jamie Moyer, 49, pitched two scoreless innings in an 8-6 loss to the Giants.

Poised Darvish dazzles in debut 03/07/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 8:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.