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Yu Darvish Strikes Out Nine, Gives Up Four Runs

Yu Darvish didn't get the nod today against the Los Angeles Angels, but instead pitched five innings in a minor league game. The results, as they have been so far for Darvish this spring, were somewhat mixed. ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett provided updates throughout Darvish's start, and per Durrett's reports, it looks like Darvish's stuff was there.

Well, that's certainly an encouraging sign from Darvish. Touching the high 90s with his fastball is excellent, and hopefully Darvish's command will continue to come around. Even the best pitchers in baseball struggle without fastball command, and Darvish will be no exception to that.

Still, if the command comes around, Darvish's fastball, and his variations of it, will certainly be a plus pitch.

Darvish's secondary pitches were on display today as well.

It doesn't look like there's any shortage of stuff with Darvish -- at least so far.

Darvish ran into trouble in the fourth inning, though, surrendering four runs and giving up three extra base hits. It's not ideal, and certainly not what you want to see, especially in a minor league game. Darvish did end up striking out nine in five innings, so that's certainly a positive.

Darvish's next, and presumably last, Cactus League start will come Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

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