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Yu Darvish Improves, Pitches Well Against Brewers

Yu Darvish made his third Cactus League start on Monday, throwing 70 pitches over four innings. While Darvish's final line isn't flashy, the three walks and hit batsman are a sore spot, Darvish looked better on Monday, and in the spring, that's what matters.

In Darvish's four innings of work, he gave up just one run on one hit, while walking three, striking out four and hitting a batter. The lone hit was a seeing eye single by Norichika Aoki, which scored Travis Ishikawa, who had previously walked.

Darvish's command was much sharper on Monday, especially in comparison to last Tuesday's start against the Indians. Darvish pitched out of the windup on Monday, the first time he's done so in a Cactus League game, which may have helped with his command.

While he did walk three and hit one, Darvish wasn't half as wild as he was against the Indians. His fastball, for the most part, stayed down in the zone. One of the walks issued could easily have gone either way, and Darvish seemingly was missing low, or off the plate, with his fastball, as opposed to high and wild last week against the Indians.

All in all, Monday's effort is definitely a step in the right direction for Darvish. There's still some work to do over the next two weeks, but the same can be said for any pitcher in baseball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.